We use cookies to offer the best possible user experience on our website. We also use third-party cookies, to deliver personalised advertisement messages. By using our website you agree, that cookies can be saved on your device. Further information on the cookies used and on how to disable them can be found here.

VIP reorganization

An interim evaluation

From today, 8th February 2023, VIP, the Fruit and Vegetable Producers' Association of Val Venosta, will be present at Fruit Logistica, the leading trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector which focuses on innovations, trends and future challenges. VIP will be located at Stand A-40 in Hall 6.2 and will be ready to welcome both customers and stakeholders of the Consortium, in order to present its latest innovations, such as the next steps towards an increasingly centralised marketing, and to explain how it is reacting to the current market conditions.

A stronger sale structure to face market challenges

The current situation presents multiple challenges: record harvests, with a resulting oversupply of apples; extraordinarily high summer temperatures, which affected the quality of the fruits in many cultivation areas; a tricky political environment that, among other things, has caused energy and raw material prices to skyrocket; a galloping inflation and its impact on purchasing behaviour.
"Despite the ongoing challenges, we guarantee our customers a high-quality apple selection and an excellent service during this sales season. This is possible also thanks to our new sales structure", explains Kurt Ratschiller, VIP Sales Manager.
The increasing professionalisation of competitors, the market segmentation and the customers' need for advice and guidance prompted VIP to adapt its internal organisational structure and centralise 100% of the operational sales of its member cooperatives.
Kurt Ratschiller also states that the fruit business has reached a high level, which gives the opportunity for further development steps for optimisation. By specialising in sales, it is possible to handle the increasing demands of individual customers in a more targeted way and to share information with them more intensively.
Moreover, the introduction of new apple varieties and an ever-widening range of organic products requires the development of new markets and sales channels and an increased presence by the customers.
The change and repositioning in these difficult times has taken VIP great courage and effort. In order to respond to the challenges in the right way and consolidate its strengths as a supplier of first-class apples, it has been necessary to reorganise the sales structure, with an even more motivated and competent team; the support of the top management of the member cooperatives was also crucial.
Peter Stricker, production manager of VIP, who coordinates the production managers of all member cooperatives, explains that specialisation in sales goes at the same pace as specialisation in production. Centralised marketing also requires a good joint planning of production processes. The experience of the last few years has shown how to optimise sales and production in order to continue to generate the highest revenue for producers also in the future.

Golden Delicious: still popular after a century
Regarding the apples’ variety, it is true that the European market has an excess of supply, but it is also true that the Golden Delicious apples, the main VIP’s product - which represents 50% of the entire supply - is currently limited in this trade season, both in Val Venosta and in the other production’s areas.
Kurt Ratschiller declares: “The sales of Golden Delicious started well and also for this year we have managed to guarantee their availability for the next 12 months to our strategic customers. The Golden variety has ideal growing conditions in Val Venosta, which is the highest homogenous cultivation area in Europe".
The Production Director Peter Stricker adds: “It is truly remarkable that a variety that is over 100 years old, and which has been successfully cultivated in Val Venosta for decades, still has such a great demand. The crucial factors in this regard are planting apple trees of the Golden variety where they grow best and renewing the plants”.
The most popular club apples are guaranteed 12 months a year
Besides traditional varieties such as Golden, in recent years VIP and its producers have also become important suppliers for new varieties such as SweeTango™, Ambrosia™, envy™, Kanzi® and Cosmic Crisp®.
"Thanks to the mix of tested varieties and selected club apples, VIP can guarantee the availability of high-quality apples throughout the year and meet the different customer needs in an increasingly segmented market” says Fabio Zanesco, who, as Manager for Protected Varieties, maintains international contacts with the clubs and coordinates all VIP functions related to the club assortment, including operational sales.

European leader in the organic sector for quality and quantity
VIP has established itself as the organic leader in the European apple market, both in terms of quantity and quality.
The ultra-modern packaging plant, activated in 2019 for the exclusive processing of organic apples from Val Venosta, guarantees a very flexible apples management.
Gerhard Eberhöfer, VIP's Organic Variety Manager explains: "Thanks to the reorganisation, the sale of organic apples is now managed by the entire VIP sales department and no longer by an organic salesman as in the past. This means that we can offer customers an even more specialised service”.
Around 20% of the total area of Val Venosta is cultivated according to organic guidelines. The quantity of organic apples harvested in Val Venosta thus guarantees the supply of organic products to large supermarket chains all year round. Organic Gala apples, for example, in future will be available 12 months a year.

Orchards’ privileged location: a guarantee of quality
It is undeniable that the high summer temperatures have been challenging for all cultivation regions and made an impact in Val Venosta as well, but, according to Sales Manager Kurt Ratschiller, “Our position in the Alpine cultivation area has favoured us in climatic terms and we hope that it will also contribute to guarantee the quality in the future. To give an example, we can offer a quality Gala until April this year as well".


True friends share everything

More articles

Also interesting

All articles