Freshness from Europe, a project financed by the European Union, the Italian Government and CSO Italy to promote public awareness of European fruit and vegetables, is targeting the UAE this summer.
The project is being carried out in conjunction with CSO Italy partners, including Apoconerpo, Alegra, Apofruit, Assomela, Ceradini, Made in Blu, Cico, Conserve Italia, Naturitalia, Origine, Oranfrizer, and Opera.
In June, the Freshness from Europe campaign introduced summer products in around 30 mass-market stores in Dubai.
The project encompasses exclusive air delivery of summer produce from Italy to Dubai, as well as in-store activities such as the distribution of information leaflets and presentations of produce with reference to country of origin and historical and cultural background.
Stefano Soli from Alegra commented: “The Freshness project has everything it needs to be successful and appealing in the Emirates, where people are becoming ever more interested in high quality fruit and vegetables, and pay great attention to the health topics and the nutritional aspects that the initiative wants to convey.”
Renzo Balestri, overseas manager, Apofruit added: “The Emirates are a constantly growing market and, also in the initial phase, the summer campaign has received a positive response so far.
“They showed great interest in all Italian early summer fruit – peaches, nectarines, cherries, apricots, and also in ready-to-eat produce”.
The project will continue in the UAE until November when Freshness from Europe will take part in international perishables expo, WOP Dubai (13 – 15 November)
The expo offers businesses an opportunity to meet local and international fruit and vegetable suppliers, network with peers and get updates on market trends.
According to Eurostat data, fruit and vegetable exports from Italy to the UAE has seen a steady increase in the past three years.
Italian exports to the UAE increased from 9,700 tons in 2012 to 12,000 tons in 2015.
This includes winter fruits such as kiwis, apples and pears, in addition to summer and autumn produce such as plums, apricots, cherries and grapes.
In addition to the UAE, the Freshness from Europe project is also carried out in China, USA, Canada, Japan.