CSO Italy’s Freshness from Europe project comes to Canada

(Ferrara, 11th May 2017) The Freshness From Europe project, run by CSO Italy and jointly funded by Alegra, Apofruit, Assomela, Ceradini Group, Cico Mazzoni, Conserve Italia, Made in Blu, Naturitalia, Oranfrizer and Origine Group, is making landfall in Canada with the Canadian PMA.

The annual Convention and show held in Toronto is Canada’s biggest fruit and vegetable industry event.

What’s more, during the last few years the Canadian market has become increasingly important for Italian fruit and vegetable growers, and especially for kiwis, apples, pears, stone fruit, citrus and, this year, grapes as well, after a 5-year halt.

An open, receptive market, well aware of the specific characteristics of Italian fruit and vegetables and thus highly responsive to a project like Freshness from Europe, which aims to promote products of European origin and especially those from Europe’s key growing areas, where Italy is one of the world leaders.

The Freshness from Europe project focuses on Canada and the USA, China, the United Arab Emirates and Japan, and includes initiatives targeting the trade, POP promotions, marketing and advertising, and participation at Exhibitions and Events, for a total value of 3.5 million Euro over a three-year period (2016-2018).

Italian fruit and vegetable exports to Canada are growing constantly, and Canada is definitely a key target market for Italy, with sales increasing during the last three years (Eurostat data) from 10,825 tonnes in 2013 to 17,855 in 2016, marking a 60% rise in four years.

But how has this season gone for Italy?

We asked Furio Mazzotti, Director of Made in Blu and one of the funders of the Freshness From Europe project.

“For us,” Furio Mazzotti states, “Canada is a key market and in some years it has actually been our biggest market.

This year we achieved good results with Abate pears, Angeleno plums and Soreli kiwis, although the market for green kiwis was a little flat because it was unable to handle the rise in prices.”

“With the Freshness project,” Mr Mazzotti continued, “as well as exhibiting at the Canadian PMA Show we have also organised 2 trade events in Montreal and reached more than 100 stores with the promotional programmes run within the Metro, Sotis and IGA chains.”

“This year, the Montreal show attracted a large number of professional visitors. It is a very concentrated, specialised event and it offers us an excellent platform for making contacts and reaching agreements for the coming year.”

Ceradini Group also exhibited at the Canadian PMA event as part of the Freshness project.

“It’s an Event with lots of potential for us,” company Director Massimo Ceradini states, “because we aim to be present on all the kiwi export markets.

Canada offers excellent business opportunities for Italian kiwis because consumers like our product’s characteristics and many importers are Italian-Americans.”

“It’s a highly competitive market,” Mr Ceradini concludes, “and we have to keep the bar high in terms of both quality and competitive pricing to enable our products to achieve the success they deserve.”