Two Italian co-operatives have signed a partnership agreement to increase their market reach.
Apofruit Italia, one of Italy’s largest fresh produce businesses, will work with Bio Meran co-operative, an organic fruit supplier, to reduce supply chain costs and develop new varieties.
The deal will enable the two to sell organic apples in the Middle East, Southern Mediterranean, Asia and Latin America.
“Each of our organisations will retain its own characteristics in terms of territory and production,” said Ilenio Bastoni, Apofruit’s general director.
“Bio Meran will simply become part of a producer organisation that is already active in many markets, while Apofruit will enjoy all of the advantages derived from the acquisition’s high level of professionalism in the biodynamic sector.”
Bio Meran was set up in 2013 by a group of 15 farmers in South Tyrol with experience in biodynamic farming to jointly market their apples. On average they produce around 4,200 tonnes.
Founded 50 years ago, Apofruit Italia has grown to include 4,000 member growers, 10 processing plants and six facilities for production, collection and storage. The co-op sells a wide range of organic fruit, vegetables and kitchen garden plants.
Bio Meran is known for its biodynamic production, which excludes the use of artificial chemicals on soil and plants. Farmers are also certified by Demeter International, an international network of independent biodynamic certification bodies. To obtain the certification producers have to comply with the Demeter International Standards that cover production, processing, bees, wine, textiles and cosmetics.
Bio Meran director Franzeline Dietmar, added: “This partnership will open new markets for our apples, particularly overseas.”
The co-op had annual sales of €5m last year, and sells its apples in other European markets, such as Scandinavia and Spain.
In this article
- Apofruit Italia
- artificial chemicals
- Bio Meran
- Bio Meran co-operative
- Biodynamic agriculture
- Demeter International
- Franzeline Dietmar
- Ilenio Bastoni
- Latin America
- Middle East
- Organic farming
- Organic food
- Organic wine
- Product certification
- South Tyrol
- Southern Mediterranean
- Sustainable agriculture
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