Apples’ Paradise – Meet the Sweet Italian Treasure
Italy is known for making a great impression on its visitors, but one of the country’s most surprising features is its local apples. After years when apple production was on the rise around the world, with almost 70 million tons produced annually, Italy has managed to stand out as a strategic player of the global premium fruit industry.
From the Northeast to the Northwest, the apple crops cover a large area in Italy. Almost half of the production comes from the valleys of South Tyrol and Trentino, which undoubtedly represent one of the most important growing areas of high-quality apples throughout Europe. It’s no coincidence that the apple market is considered the most stable among all local fresh produce sectors, with both domestic and foreign market importance. Today, Italian apples occupy a major position as the most exported fruit out of the country with approximately 900 thousand tons of apples each season.
There are over 7000 types of apple varieties in the world, cultivated for different purposes, and the Italian apple industry is constantly developing to best respond and satisfy the changing tastes of different consumers worldwide. ZIM Italy continues to cater this fruit to local customers, while also serving its main international markets in Israel and Jordan. Recently, new destinations in South America and Egypt have gained relevance and become part of the importer countries’ list for apple exports out of Italy.
Since the apple harvest season lasts only a few months, each fruit must be kept in good condition to ensure maintaining excellent quality and to meet optimal shelf life, especially since they are being marketed throughout the year: “Our key focus areas for the apple market, like any other commodity, is quality. This means paying close attention to our customer’s needs, making sure equipment is kept intact to meet the cargo’s requirements, understanding volume demands and constantly being on the lookout for new opportunities our customers may have in the market.”
This requires a fast and precise process – one that cannot afford any obstacles or delays. To make this a reality, ZIM Italy has gathered a dedicated reefer customer service team that serves as a cross-functional unit for all things refrigerated. Scalisi explains: “There is always someone backstage, not only supporting the process from start to finish, but also following up after the cargo has arrived at its destination. Customers can reach us anytime.”