Source: eKapija | Wednesday, 27.02.2019.| 10:47
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PIK Juzni Banat produces 20,000 tons of fruit annually – Increased export to EU and Middle East markets planned

(Photo: PIK Južni Banat)
The Bela Crkva-based company PIK Juzni Banat produces 20,000 tons of fresh fruit a year. As much as 90% is exported, mostly to Russia, and they aim to increase their presence in other markets as well, namely, the European Union and the Middle East, they reveal for eKapija.

Furthermore, the company also deals in nursery production of certified apple seedlings, apple and quince substrates and arable crops, and, in addition to apples, they also produce peaches, nectarines, grapes and cherries.

Still, their biggest product is the apple, PIK Juzni Banat says for eKapija. On the 350-ha plantations in the Bela Crkva area, new Knip and Magnum apple crops are grown each year.

They also own an Agromarket cooling plant with a capacity of 6,000 tons, which features 21 ULO and DCA controlled atmosphere chambers and 2 rack chambers for finished goods. Their production system includes a modern apple pre-sorting machine, Maf Roda, with a capacity of 10 t/h, and an Aweta sorting machine with a capacity of 5 t/h.

They offer over 300,000 certified apple seedlings, 500,000 certified apple and quince substrates and around 500,000 certified apple and pear grafts.

– When we deliver the fruits, we take care for the packaging to meet all the parameters of quality and for top-quality fruits of original taste to reach the customers. That's why we pack our apples in 3 different types of packaging, crates, bags and boxes.

For this reason, the company also owns an apple packing machines, with two lines, with a capacity of 4-6 t/h per line.

– The whole process is fully automated. The packaging slides down from the gallery directly onto the machine. It then goes down the middle of the machine, between the workers, who do the packing, whereas the robot picks up the empty pallets, and the palletizer puts the full package on the pallet. The shuttle transports the filled pallet to the strapping machine, after which it is ready for loading.

(Photo: PIK Južni Banat)
When it comes to exports, the company explains that as much as 90% is sold outside Serbia.

– Fresh fruits are sold as such, depending on quality category.

Fruit Logistica Berlin

Regarding the Berlin fair, they point out that it is the most important event of its type in Europe.

– It's important to be present and to learn about new trends. We have had the opportunity to present ourselves and meet new potential clients and suppliers. This is an event worth visiting – the company says.

Getting to know new clients from potential new markets is one of the most useful opportunities at the fair. We have had several important meetings and I believe that we will realize the cooperation.

Plans for the future

When it comes to plans for the future, PIK Juzni Banat says that one of the priorities is to find new markets.

– Following trends in all segments, from the production, storing, sorting, packing and selling the products are the basis for positioning in the increasingly demanding market. Of course, one of the priorities in the upcoming period is to find new markets. We are mostly present in the Russian market and we base our strategy on increasing the share of other markets in the total realization, namely, the markets of the European Union and the Middle East – they explain for eKapija.

PIK Juzni Banat from Bela Crkva was founded back in 1960. It has been a private company for 15 years now and is a member of the Agromarket Group.

S. Petrovic
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