19 May 2021

Berryway accelerates in Calabria and Puglia

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Berryway, an Italian company which is the result of an international partnership specialising in berries, is continuing with its investment plans to increase the production of berries domestic products for Italian retailers.

Romualdo Riva (Berryway's general manager) talks exclusively to Italian Berry about Berryway's presence in Calabria and Puglia, the regions that represent the vanguard of expansion in southern Italy.

What does Calabria represent for Berryway?

In this region we have made our first berries plantings in southern Italy. This year we will have the first raspberries in production, while the blueberries will be planted this year to enter production in 2022 along with the blackberries.

What are your plans?

In the short term, we expect to increase the number of hectares in production in Calabria to 50. We also have agreements in place to start producing berries Berryway in two other important regions: Puglia and Sicily. The producers become members of the OP Ortofruit Italia and become part of a technical and commercial organisation with long experience in the category of berries and well inserted in the commercial circuits of the Italian GDO.

How are you assessing these first steps?

The prospects are very interesting and the first results are promising.

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How do you integrate production from Southern Italy with your commercial calendar of goods from Piedmont?

Raspberries are harvested in Calabria in two periods: February-May and late September-December. This is in addition to the availability from the North (June and October) to arrive at a calendar of 10-11 months of raspberries from Italy. For blueberry we plan to cover February to May with production from Southern Italy and June to September with product from Piedmont. The calendar is based on the varieties Berryway has exclusively for both raspberries and blueberries.

How will logistics and processing be handled?

In this first season of operation, processing will be carried out in our own facilities in Piedmont. However, as early as next year, we plan to pack directly in the production areas.

So Southern Italy is becoming strategic for the supply of Italian large-scale retailers. How does Berryway see southern Italy as a market and not just as a production area?

Large retailers have shown us great interest in developing sales of berries in southern Italy. This market area is still considered to be characterised by traditional consumption, whereas we see great development potential for the berries category. In perspective, 30-40% of the southern production will be sold in the markets of the area, starting with the production regions and gradually expanding to the whole of the south. We are already seeing the first concrete signs of this interest, with customers asking us for less traditional formats for southern Italy: we are also seeing good demand for raspberries in 160g packs and blueberries in 250g.

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