“In 2007-2008, Melinda beat their own sales record, 320,000 tonnes"
Fruit Today euromagazine talked to Luca Granata, Director of the Italian Consortium Melinda, who pointed out that technological overhauls are necessary to remain among the best.
Can you outline the consortium’s sales development for both the Italian market and exports to Europe?
As far as the domestic market is concerned I mentioned already that figures show apple consumption in Italy has been holding steady for the last three years. Imports from other countries to Italy have declined but when it comes specifically to our company, we are selling more than before both in the domestic market and for export.
Can you describe the different markets where you export?
Melinda sells apples in 26 different countries as well as Italy and each one has very different characteristics with respect to quality, service levels and price positioning. In any case, the differences between countries offer us an opportunity to fit our supply to their demand.
What are the forecasts for Melinda this season?
Our predictions estimate a 5% decline in the crop compared to last year in terms of volume but our quality will remain as high as ever.
How is the market behaving in this first part of the season?
This season the market looks very close to the level of last year. The fruit seems to be ripening at the usual pace although markets generally don’t seem to be as strong.
Tell us about the latest developments in terms of expansion or technological improvements in any of your six fruit and vegetable centres.
Generally speaking, our centres are in first or second place. Of course, they have all the quality standards required at an international level. We are able to pack more than 10,000 tonnes of produce a week in any format required by the client. Nonetheless, we are aware that to remain at the forefront of the sector in each and every one of our centres, we cannot rest on our laurels. We are continually updating our production lines and recently we have installed a new line for package filling and express packaging. We will also be making some changes to our storage chambers.