On October 16, 2017, the company Ionextrans SRL of Ialoveni district shipped its first fresh fruit truck in the Auchan Retail Romania trade network. The delivery is the result of joint efforts of members of Moldova Fruct Association and UNDP Moldova to diversify export markets and the categories of buyers for Moldovan fruits.

In autumn 2016, more than 10 producers and fruit exporters from the Association participated with a joint stand in the Indagra Food exhibition with the support of the Romanian Government and UNDP Moldova. The interaction with representatives of the French distributor, established at the time, continued with visits to orchards and packaging facilities within the Association.

“We have set the goal to increase every year the export share on alternative markets, and this season we managed to export to the European Union market. It's an ambitious but inevitable road, and the first success gives us even more confidence in the quality of Moldovan products and their global value," Ion Ionas, Director of Ionex Trans SRL says.

The first fresh grapes and plums appeared on the shops' shelves at the end of October 2017. The companies plan to expand also the co-operation for new categories of fruits.

Auchan Retail Romania owns 33 hypermarket shops and is expected to open several hundred nearby shops. This category of shops will market new product categories, including fruit snacks, where Moldovan fruit producers already have experience.

The development of fresh fruits sector, which is one of the most dynamic, is significantly contributing to local development, both because of new jobs and additional investment in the exploration of modern technologies. The diversification of export markets for local production presents a key priority for the development of the sector.

The current business model of the best-performing producers is focused on seizing opportunities in new markets, as well as ongoing efforts in the innovation compartment", Dumitru Vasilescu, project manager at UNDP Moldova says.

The participation of fruit producers and exporters in the 2016 Indagra Food fair exhibition was insured by the “Innovative business development for local sustainable economic growth” Project of UNDP Moldova, supported by the Romanian Government and members of the Moldova Fruct Association.

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