• 15 May
    Italian processed tomato overview

    Italian processed tomato overview

    Information from USDA, with updated trade data from Fruit Juice Focus 

    Italy is a world leading processed tomato producer, representing approximately 13% of the global production and 48% of Europe’s production, with a sector turnover of more than EUR3.2 billion.

    Acreage to processed tomatoes amounts to nearly 68 640 hectares split mainly among the central-southern provinces of Foggia, Caserta, and Potenza, and the northern districts of Parma, Ferrara, and Piacenza. According to data released by the National Association of the Canned Vegetables Industry (Anicav),

    Italy’s processed tomato production totalled 5.1 million tonnes in 2016, a 5.5% decrease from the previous year, mainly due to adverse weather in central-southern provinces during summer. Processed tomato production reached 2.8 million tonnes in northern Italy (+6% over 2015) and 2.3 million tonnes in the centre-south (-13% over 2015).

    Crop environment 

    Generally, conditions in Italy allow for production of tomatoes throughout the year, although the bulk of the processing takes place between the months of July and December. Growing conditions vary substantially between the different regions. In the South, water is plentiful but expensive to use. Many farms utilize drip systems or sprinklers. Growers have set up cooperatives, which are part of larger producer organizations, whose main task is to make joint offers, sign contracts with processing firms, supply seeds, fertilizers and other treatments and own harvesters. Production in the North is completely mechanized and hybrids are predominantly used. The majority of the plantings are plug-seeding transplants. Direct seeding is rare and only used for the cultivation of paste tomatoes, which are sown with precision machines using coated seeds. For peeling tomatoes, the acreage is planted with plug seedlings. Tomatoes for paste are all machine harvested, but those for the production of canned tomatoes are mostly harvested manually.


    The Italian tomato processing industry produces passata, sauces and pastes and is entirely separate from the fresh-market industry. Specific characteristics differentiate the two types of tomatoes: fresh market varieties are juicier and harvested prior to being ripe, while processing varieties contain higher percentages of solids, are vine ripened and typically have a thicker skin.

    Raw material base price Processed tomatoes are mainly produced on a contractual basis, with individual agreements between farmers and the industry.

    Last year the Italian tomato processors and producers organisations (POs) representing growers in northern Italy (mainly from Lombardy and Emilia Romagna) set the raw material base price at EUR85.20/tonne. AT the same time the POs representing growers in southern Italy (Calabria, Campania, Puglia, and Molise) set the raw material base price at EUR87.00/tonne for round tomatoes and EUR97.00/tonne for the long variety.


    By Caroline Calder Trade Data
  • 15 May
    Round-up: Citrus processing reports

    Round-up: Citrus processing reports

    Fundecitrus forecast on Brazil’s 2017/18 crop

    The 2017/18 orange production forecast for Brazil’s São Paulo and west-southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt is 364.47 million boxes (40.8 kg), says a new report by Fundecitrus (including cooperation of Markestrat, FEA-RP/USP and FCAV/Unesp1).

    Of this figure, 265 million boxes, or 73% of the projected crop, will come from the initial bloom, which should lead to healthy juice yields.

    Bearing trees total 174.78 million and the average number of fruit per tree in as of April 2017, not considering the droppage to occur during the season, was measured at 753 fruits per tree.

    The average number of fruit per tree may vary by 14 fruit more or less, which corresponds to 1.9% of the average number of fruit per tree obtained upon stripping.

    Fruit droppage 

    The average droppage rate is estimated at 18.5%. The forecast rate is greater than those assessed in the previous seasons and is related to a greater production volume expected for this season, which might cause an extended harvesting period, thus increasing fruit exposure to pests and diseases with potential to cause fruit droppage.

    Fruit size 

    The average size is estimated at 265 fruits per box of 40.8 kg. Smaller fruit are expected for this season due to the greater quantity of oranges on the trees which limit their growth potential. In addition, according to Somar Meteorologia, the expectation for the second half of 2017 is for a milder El Niño.

    USDA forecast on Florida’s 2016/17 crop

    The USDA’s May forecast on Florida’s current crop is up 1.00 million boxes to
    68.0 million boxes. The total includes 33.0 million boxes of the non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, and Navel varieties) and 35.0 million boxes of Valencia oranges.

    The projection for frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) yields is lowered to 1.41 gallons per box (42 brix).

    By Caroline Calder Trade Data Uncategorised
  • 15 May
    Juice trade in Africa

    Juice trade in Africa

    Taking the two most traded juices on the market: frozen concentrated orange juice concentrate (FCOJ) and apple juice concentrate (AJC), Fruit Juice Focus analyses imports and exports in Africa over the past decade. 

    FCOJ imports 

    Uptake of FCOJ in Africa has seen some fluctuation over the past few years. Imports spiked at 78 186 tonnes in 2012, primarily due to a surge in imports to Nigeria (not shown on table) which saw shipments increase ten-fold on the previous year to over 17 000 tonnes. Overall though, the region’s FCOJ imports have been fairly stable since 2007, ranging between 40 000-50 000 tonnes per year.

    FCOJ exports 

    While there has been a decline in FCOJ exports in the last couple of years, African shipments have shown significant growth over the past decade. Exports reached 74 613 tonnes in 2014, helped by a notable increase from Egypt, which sold 26 095 tonnes to foreign markets – more than double the volume from the previous year.

    AJC imports

    Africa has more than doubled its imports of AJC over the past decade. Again there was a notable spike in imports to Nigeria in 2012, which pushed total African uptake that year to 77 697 tonnes. South Africa is the largest importer of AJC in Africa, but in both 2006 and 2008, the country was a net exporter of the product.

    AJC exports 

    Apple concentrate exports out of Africa are fairly minimal. Countries such as South Africa produce good volumes, but also consume a lot. Exports reached a peak of 33 929 tonnes in 2012 – twice the level from the previous year. This increase is attributed to very high shipments from Swaziland (not shown on table) which sold 16 602 tonnes.

    Africa trade data tables 1 and 2


    Africa trade data tables 3 and 4

    By Caroline Calder Trade Data
  • 15 May
    COCOFINA:   Jacob’s journey from Kerala to Dragon’s Den and beyond

    COCOFINA: Jacob’s journey from Kerala to Dragon’s Den and beyond

    Jacob Thundil is a London based entrepreneur born in the Indian state of Kerala “The land of coconuts”. After his father’s passing at the age of 17, he took over and ran the family business while pursuing a mechanical engineering degree and working in several blue-chip companies before founding Cocofina in 2004. 

    Cocofina, the ‘Coconut Experts’ boast an innovative range of 32 coconut-based products, including their top selling coconut water, many of which are Great Taste Award winning, that are vegan and vegetarian friendly and UK Soil Association certified. Now sold throughout the UK and in 28 countries worldwide, the organic evolution of the brand from its beginnings in Kerala to recently securing investment on the popular UK BBC TV series Dragons Den is a truly inspirational journey. Fruit Juice Focus reports on the Cocofina story and the message it gives to others just starting out, or looking to develop their more established brands.

    In a recent interview with the BBC, Jacob explained how taking over and running a business from such a young age forged the basis of his future success: “My dad was into cashew nut products and I took over the business and ran it while doing my engineering degree. Food I think is also a science when you’re producing it to scale and the engineering helped me in a big way to understand the specifications of the raw materials and eventually produce our pure coconut water. How do you get purity? How do you conserve the quality of the water and to add to it?” “Kerala helped me a lot”, added Jacob, “because coconut is like wine as it’s affected by taste, terrain, climate and also the species of the nut. When you’re looking at all of those factors, it helped me because I grew up with it”

    An innovative approach was evident in the brands’ early life when Jacob rediscovered coconut water in 2004 on a beach in Brazil. In that same year Cocofina became the first to bottle it in its purest form and launch throughout Europe. Jacob states, ‘as a pioneering brand in the coconut space in Europe, we had the luxury of setting the bar high. I spent all of 2004 sampling across food festivals such as Taste of London in Regents Park and travelling around Asia and South America to choose the best species of coconuts suitable for the European palette. Positive feedback from customers makes all of this research all the more worthwhile’.

    The journey began with a vision to create an innovative range of products that would not only appeal to health and lifestyle conscious consumers but also to those that have food intolerances. The current range boasts products such as a superior Coconut Nectar with a low GI of 38, a Coconut Amino which is a soy sauce alternative, sustainably produced Coconut Vinegars infused with Chili and Nutmeg and a range of Free-From cooking and baking products such as Coconut Flour, Sugar, Chips and Desiccated Coconut.

    Premium quality, honesty and healthy are core brand values as well as sustainably producing products utilising every part of the coconut palm. Cocofina also supports the charity Action Against Hunger (ACF) by donating to help fight child hunger around the world. Ethically responsible and completely transparent, the brand is continuously evolving and achieving success.

    Since receiving offers from all five Dragons from the Dragon’s Den, the long running UK BBC TV programme where entrepreneurs pitch for investment from the Dragons (five venture capitalists willing to invest their own money in exchange for equity) they are now working with two Dragons – Sarah Willingham and Nick Jenkins. Their expertise is already being imparted and they have both facilitated introductions at boardroom level with some key players.

    Since pitching in the Den, Cocofina have secured listings within all 60 stores of UK premier lifestyle retailer Lakeland and the UK health products retailer Holland and Barrett have expanded their Cocofina range to 20 products. Orders have significantly increased as have the number of social media followers which are continuously rising, with awareness for the brand at an all-time high.

    This exposure has also instigated a number of approaches from wealthy investors and a well-known financial institution with offers ranging from £150K to £1M tabled.

    With evidence of a shift in consumer attitude towards coconut products over recent years, Cocofina have come through this period, grown at a fast rate year on year, expanded into new territories and markets and received significant credit from the UK organic industry for cementing themselves as a trusted and go-to brand.

    Jacob states ‘I am flattered with the offers and the trust that the public have placed on us. I was not in the den for the money and very happy with the experience that the new investors have brought to the table to take our dreams to the next level’.

    The next stage of brand evolution is already underway. Firstly a competition was won with SAGE to create a pop-up-shop at Piccadilly Circus tube station in London for one week where Cocofina were seen by a potential 800,000 passers-by across the seven days. Many recognised the brand from being on television and immediately associated with it and in excess of 5,000 samples were given out.

    Jacob has since been invited to speak at a number of export focused events; the Santander Red Box event held at Spitalfields Market in London in September last year, that also focused on labelling, a UK Department of International Trade (DIT) Kickstart Export conference with over 400 businesses in attendance which has led to a case study, an ‘Entrepreneur Masterclass’ for students at a London school, who are taking part in the prestigious Tycoon in Schools initiative in association with the Peter Jones Enterprise Award. The Cocofina journey will also be an example case study across every business course at the school.

    The Soil Association website currently features Cocofina within the ‘Meet our Licensees’ section, which spotlights the brands’ efforts in helping to shape the future of organic. Cocofina will be showcased as an organic export case study by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and HSBC has selected Cocofina as a chosen best brand to include in their marketing and advertising campaigns for 2017. Jacob appeared as a guest speaker at the 2016 Health Ingredients Europe event in Frankfurt which is the leading global event for food and beverage innovation.

    The future is certainly brighter than ever before, as a new journey begins on the road to establishing Cocofina as a global super brand.

    By Caroline Calder Features
1 2 3 4