Italian co-operatives collaborate to extend market reach

25 Feb 2016

Two Italian agricultural co-operatives are working together to reach new markets. Apofruit Italia and Bio Meran have formed a partnership that will enable them 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.”

While Apofruit has a 50 years’ history, Bio Meran was set up in 2013 by a group of 15 farmers in South Tyrol all involved in biodynamic farming. Apofruit includes 4,000 member growers, 10 processing plants and six facilities for production, collection and storage.

Bio Meran director Franzeline Dietmar, added: “Entering into 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.

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