Consorzio di Tutela del Pomodoro di Pachino IGP aims at the foreign market after working for 20 years with the Italian retail chain. To focus more on international commercialization, a convention on "Come promuovere il pomodoro di qualità: esperienze a confronto" ("How to promote high-quality tomatoes") was held on November 10th at Portopalo di Capo Passero (SR) which over 200 people attended.
FreshPlaza interviewed some of the protagonists, starting with Salvatore Chiaramida, director of Consorzio del Pomodoro di Pachino Igp: "The evening focused on tomatoes in all their forms, but on PGI ones from Pachino in particular. We are working with ICE and Macfrut so that, during the next fair, there will be a considerable space dedicated to tomatoes called Pianeta Rosso (Red Planet). PGI tomatoes from Pachino will be presented as a case history to international buyers and operators."
Macfrut president Renzo Piraccini explained how "today's event represents a change in the promotion of Pomodoro di Pachino Igp. Our fair is an exceptional means to promote high-quality Italian productions. This focus on tomatoes was also made possible by the economic support of ICE and included a strategy to involve leading companies and consortia. In a difficult moment such as this one, we need to convey the value of products and make it, so competition is not on price alone. PGI tomatoes from Pachino are a good example because the Italian private label was promoted, which now aims at the international markets."
Renzo Piraccini, Macfrut
Maurizio Forte, director for the promotion of Italian products at ICE, added that "we talked about promoting these tomatoes together with Consorzio del Pomodoro di Pachino Igp and Macfrut, as well as with a panel featuring leading representatives from the Italian and foreign big retail chain. Pomodoro di Pachino Igp boasts a good reputation, but exports are still low, just a little above 10% - a contradiction caused by a series of factors also related to cultivation methods and weather conditions. The produce has everything it takes to be competitive, as it does not need to be heated like tomatoes from northern Europe, which actually also makes it more sustainable and nicer to eat. At ICE, we want to use the fairs and favor the relationships with the big retail chains in order to make PGI tomatoes from Pachino more present on the market and on the tables of consumers."
Maurizio Forte, ICE
The President of the consortium Sebastiano Fortunato reported being "very pleased with the fact leading operators from the national and international chain attended. The next step is taking part in Macfrut as part of Pianeta Rosso, which will focus on high-quality tomatoes. What we are doing now is part of the planning necessary to export our tomatoes, as exporting cannot be invented. It needs planning. We have certainly done an excellent job with the Italian retail chains over 20 years, as we focused on the quality we achieve thanks to the microclimate generated by the meeting of two seas, the soil, sunlight, and brackish water - all the essential elements that help tomatoes achieve the PGI mark."
"These characteristics are what makes it possible for our tomatoes to be successful abroad. We will need to invest first, so those who think that exporting immediately means higher prices are wrong. We need to start with suitable, maybe lower prices first, make ourselves known to people, and then position ourselves within the correct price range after people have understood not only the flavor but also the sustainability of the tomatoes. We need to make people understand that our product actually respects the planet on top of having unique organoleptic qualities."