Kiwi takes center stage at Italy's biggest fruit and vegetable trade fair
Hermione Kitson in Cesena


Italy's biggest fruit and vegetable trade fair has opened, with dozens of Chinese producers also participating as part of China Day.

This year, the three-day Macfrut event is being held in person in the seaside city of Rimini and coincides with the United Nations' International Year of Fruit and Vegetables.

Renzo Balestri, the export manager at Apofruit, said: "It is a good instrument to invite the customers from all over the world to see the fruits directly in the field." 



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Kiwis are Italy's most exported fruit to China, alongside blood oranges and lemons. And the yellow kiwi variety is growing in popularity. 

"Yellow is gold for the Chinese and so it is good luck and they're looking for more gold kiwis than green," says Balestri.

He hopes other fruits will soon be added to the list: "Pears and apples are next on the table, the terms were for two years ago but then we had lockdown and everything froze again."

This year, 110 companies from 20 provinces in China are also participating, with the theme of "Healthy and delicious tastes from China."

In his video speech, Ambassador Guang Defu said the Chinese government actively promotes the "International Year of Fruits and Vegetables" as a useful tool to implement the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

He said China's agricultural institutions will continue to facilitate cooperation between Chinese and European companies to enhance understanding and more pragmatic and prosperous platforms for fruit and vegetable trade.


Kiwis are Italy's most exported fruit to China. /CGTN

Kiwis are Italy's most exported fruit to China. /CGTN


Gianpaolo Bruno is the chief representative of the Beijing Office of the Italian Foreign Trade Commission. 

He said there is huge potential in the China-Europe fruit and vegetable market and hopes Chinese and European companies will seize the opportunity of this exhibition to further strengthen cooperation and benefit consumers.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy has been forced to focus on the European marketwith fruit and vegetable exports up by 8 percent in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Italian Trade Agency.

The sector is now only second to wine in terms of economic input and producers say, despite the challenges, they're confident of a full post-COVID-19 recovery.

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