Serbian companies Agrounija, the part of MK Group and Verda Vivo started a 300ha+ project in 2014 in one of the best growing areas in Serbia.
“Commodities are one focus,” explains Gojko Zagorac, director of development. “But branded apples show their value in difficult seasons like the present. Our group decided to trust in the Crimson Snow® brand of KIKU Variety Management. Firstly because the KIKU people have shown their expertise in the past decades with the KIKU branded apples, on a global scale and with a global network, which gives strength to a group and a brand. Secondly, the variety behind the Crimson Snow brand is just fantastic.”
Bosko Palkovljevic, one of the owners, explains: “’The variety is grower friendly, it saves labour and costs; it is environmental friendly, and we feel proud to care about our environment; and, according to the reports of sales in running season, both retailers and consumers love it.”
Jürgen Braun, CEO of KIKU explains: “Indeed, the variety is easy for handling, saving losses at point of sale. Consumer love the crimson red colour, the taste, the long shelf life. In Germany, 2 retailers did almost all of our harvest, which was slightly more than 1.000tons, in a “limited edition”. Also an Italian retailer starts. And samples went to lots of countries in Europe, Asia and Arabian countries.”
Miroslav Ivanovic, one of the owners, explains: “Step 1 of our plan is to get 30ha of mc38, the variety behind the brand CRIMSON SNOW, in the ground. 7ha have already been planted. We are excited about the opportunities, and have exclusive sales rights in Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro. With the strong group of Partners, we also aim for Russia, Croatia and Slovenia.”
Braun: “Agrounija and Verda Vivo is a strong group operating in many countries. The people are like minded and we consider this group the best choice to represent our brand and the club in Eastern Europe. Maybe we are even able to get Mr Ivanovic´s daughter Ana, one of world´s best tennis player, to become ambassador of CRIMSON SNOW.”
What´s next? Braun adds: “Italian Partner Rivoira, Sanifrutta and Clementi are planting rapidly, and soon step 1 of our masterplan with 300ha in Italy is finished. We are already discussing about step 2 with more plantings, and new entries in France. The aim is to get 10.000tons of fruits immediately, in order to make good programs with our clients. Outside of Europe, there is lots of testing plots in the USA, South Africa, Chile and New Zealand, while in Australia there is already fans of CRIMSON SNOW who appreciate the apple since years.”
Article from freshplaza