In Cairo, Macfrut launches 3 proposals

Cairo – In Cairo, Macfrut launches three proposals. Firstly, it re-launches Mac Fruit Attraction, expanding the project to another two strategic areas for the sector: South America and Asia.
Secondly, it confirms itself as a driving force for developing the entire supply chain as part of the internationalisation process.
Finally, it sends a message to European and international institutions: the fruit and vegetable sector can significantly contribute to the development of African countries and of the Middle East. Specifically, it can improve the living conditions of its inhabitants, thus reducing migration flows to Europe. If Italian companies in the supply chain cooperate, they can play a key role in this process. Many countries in this area have now become important markets for European and Italian fruit and vegetable produce. "This is all supported by data," says Renzo Piraccini, President of Cesena Fiera. "The improvements made in the cultivation, storage and processing techniques of agricultural products, especially fruit and vegetables, are the quickest and perhaps safest way of developing the economy of African countries, creating new jobs and improving the living conditions of its inhabitants and, as a result, reducing migration flows to Europe."
 
Mac Fruit Attraction broadens the horizon
“The Mac Fruit Attraction project, with Feria de Madrid, focuses on three development areas," says Renzo Piraccini, "namely, North Africa, South America and Asia. After this first edition, the attention will likely turn to the other two areas of the world, always in collaboration with a partner linked to the local area in order to promote and organise the event, as in this case with IFP."
Raul Calleja, President of Feria de Madrid, also agrees to follow this path: "We had considered implementing an international platform for the fruit and vegetable sector for a long time, and we have managed to do it with Macfrut. Today, we need to have a global view of the industry, and Mac Fruit Attraction is heading in this direction."
 
Macfrut as a driving force for the fruit and vegetable supply chain
Macfrut’s involvement in the event in Cairo was an opportunity also to reassert its role in supporting the internationalisation of this sector. "Our aim is to become a supply chain tool, so that we can organise trade fairs abroad," Renzo Piraccini continues. "In view of our participation in other international events, we want to become a means for coordinating our presence along with that of other companies in this sector."
 
Egypt is a strategic market for Italy, especially for apples
There are figures that prove this. Italy ranks first among EU Member States for exporting apples in the country of the pyramids, so much that, in just three years, its volumes have been doubled: 45,342 tonnes in 2012, 93,899 tonnes in 2014 (data provided by Cso). Considering that Egypt imports 155,000 tonnes of apples from EU Member States, it is clear that Italy plays a key role in this market. In comparison, Greece is the second EU Member State for exports, with a third of the volumes of Italian companies (37,227 tonnes). In short, the Egyptian market has absorbed Italian apples, previously supplied to the Russian market, which is now under embargo.
Egypt does not only import goods but also, in particular, it exports two products to EU markets: oranges (181,000 t.) and potatoes (119 t.). Italy is the first trading partner in the potato market with 55,644 tonnes, followed by Germany with 24,000 tonnes. Other products exported from Egypt to Italy are oranges (42,020 t.), onions (6,160 t.), beans (4,333 t.) and table grapes (3,420 t.).
 
A major player in the Egyptian market is Assomela, comprising 80% of Italy's apple producers. "This is a key market for us," says Giulia Montanaro of Assomela, who took part in this event representing 5 companies. "In 2010-2011, apple exports amounted to 17,000 tonnes, reaching 120,000 tonnes in 2014-2015. This noticeable increase clearly shows the importance of this area."
 
One of the first to believe in the Egyptian market is Tramaco, which attended Mac Fruit Attraction. "In 1992, we arranged the first container of Egyptian potatoes in Italy and, today, there are 50,000 tonnes of this product throughout Europe. This has now expanded to many other product ranges, including artichokes, peppers, peaches, strawberries and much more," says Riccardo Martini. "In Italy, it is one of our company’s target markets and amounts to 15,000 tonnes."
 
 
Italian companies in the market of the MENA area (Middle East and North Africa)
In addition to Egypt, of which we have spoken about, another sales market for Italian apples is Algeria, which has grown from importing 6,000 tonnes in 2009 to more than 37,000 tonnes in 2013 (latest FAO data available, provided by Cso).
Before the crisis, Libya was also an excellent sales market for apples, reaching the amount of 54,000 tonnes in 2013, more than double the amount reached five years before (25,000 t.).
Large quantities can be found in Saudi Arabia with more than 19,000 tonnes of apples and just less than half in the United Arab Emirates (7,000 t.), which also import kiwifruits (4,400 t.) and table grapes (4,000 t.) from Italy.
In Jordan, 2,760 tonnes of Italian apples are imported, whereas Kuwait imports smaller quantities exceeding 1,000 tonnes, as well as kiwifruit (300 t.) and potatoes (274 t.).
"North Africa and the Middle East have become strategic areas for exporting Italian fruit and vegetables," states the President of Cesena Fiera, Renzo Piraccini, "with much room for further growth." Yet, there is another crucial aspect: Africa requires technology and packaging, and Italian companies are able to meet such needs, being world leaders in this sector. With all its initiatives, Macfrut aims to help Italy’s fruit and vegetable supply chain to grow in the international market."
 
Cairo, 4 May 2016
 
Macfrut Press Office
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