Importers of apples and grapes from nine countries are coming to Moldova in mid-October
According to Andriy Yarmak, Head of the FAO/EBRD regional horticulture development project in Moldova, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, fruit importers from many world countries show a high level of interest in the procurement of Moldovan fruits.
“Importers and supermarket chains from nine world countries: the United Arab Emirates, France, Spain, Romania, South Africa, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Tajikistan have already confirmed their participation in the trade forum and investment conference that we will held in Chisinau on October 15, 2019 by FAO and EBRD jointly with FARM, ”says Andriy Yarmak.
“High level of interest expressed by importers in fresh produce from Moldova is due to a sharp decrease of apple supply from Poland and Ukraine in 2019. Buyers from the EU and the Middle East are now actively looking for alternatives in the new countries. We suggested them to consider Moldova and Serbia. While they are really eager to buy apples from Moldova, table grapes from this country are of interest mostly in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Poland, with buyers in the UAE and EU showing little if any interest”, says Mr Yarmak.
He also notes that exporters and growers from Moldova are also starting to realize that one could make more money by exporting high quality apples to the Middle East compared to exports to Russia, so the timing for the B2B event is perfect.
It is also true that Moldova does not offer a lot of apples of appropriate quality and trendy modern varieties. More than half of the apple grown in the country continues to be processed into apple juice concentrate (AJC). Fresh market apples, however, are mainly of the varieties that are no popular or even known in the markets with high prices and quality requirements.
Also Moldovan farmers have limited access to irrigation water, which is the reason why only a small part of the orchards are grown intensively.It affects the quality of the apples and causes significant quality variations depending on a weather each year.
There is also a shortage of modern sorting lines as well as too little experience in the long-distance logistics of apples and even less experience in international marketing of fruits and vegetables. Nonetheless, they are learning really fast and the first companies to help Moldovan exporters gain this knowledge and experience will benefit from loyalty of suppliers, as this country has significant produce export potential.
Importers participating in the trade forum will have an opportunity to visit two large apple farms that have all the necessary infrastructure for exports: modern storage, sorting lines, etc. The field visit is planned one day before the event – on October 14th. For those importers who are interested in table grapes, a trip to farms that grow, store and export grapes will also be organized on October 16th – a day after the B2B forum.
By the way, the trade forum itself and B2B meetings will be combined with an investment conference to demonstrate interesting investment niches in Moldova. Therefore, it is expected that a large number of potential local and foreign investors will take part in this event as well. In addition, FAO, EBRD and FARM are also organizing a trip for thirty table grape producers from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Georgia to the production regions of Moldova. This will allow them to exchange experiences in growing, storing and marketing grapes.
“We have already held many successful fruit and vegetable conferences in Moldova, but this will probably be the largest fruit and vegetable event in Moldova thus far –during the whole week from October 14 to October 18, delegations of importers and growers from around the world will be in the country, meeting a lot of growers and traders.Exchange of experience in technologies will be complimented by valuable business contacts to convert production efforts into money, ”says Andriy Yarmak.
According to EastFruit analysts, Moldova annually exports about 250 thousand tons of apples and up to 80 thousand tons of table grapes. The country is also a major exporter of walnuts, plums, cherries and many other types of fruits. Production, freezing and exports of berries is also being developing in Moldova rather rapidly.
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