We have had the honor to meet with Mr. Massimo Pittaluga from Top Gold S.r.l for our series on the companies utilising PSA Italy’s Terminals and related services.
The Sector: food farming/agriculture
The agriculture sector is one of the main driving forces of the Italian economy. In 2020, despite the reduction in international trade caused by the spread of Covid-19, exports grew by 1.7% compared to 2019, passing the threshold of 46 billion euro, with a positive commercial balance of circa 3 billion. Italian fruit and vegetables are worth 15 billion and represent 25.5% of national agricultural production. Export is central to the strategies of businesses in this sector. Indeed, a survey carried out by the Osservatorio Focus Ortofrutta showed that 38% of those consulted will undertake actions to increase and diversify their foreign markets over the next two years.
Although the first cultivations date back to less than 50 years ago, Italy is among the main producers of kiwi fruit in the world. The cultivations are spread throughout the country, from Calabria to Friuli Venezia Giulia, Campania to Piemonte. It is in the latter region, in the Cuneo area that Top Gold S.r.l. produces a particular variety of kiwi with yellow pulp: The “Top Gold, Always Sweeter!”.
The Company: Top Gold S.r.l.
What are this fruit’s characteristics? According to one of the company’s partners, Massimo Pittaluga, the Top Gold yellow kiwi has a creamy pulp, reminiscent of mango and a mixed flavour that brings together papaya in the inner part and lemon nearer the skin; a combination that generates an outstanding sensorial complex. The cultivation is carried out using manual weeding and only fertilized with cow manure, in the utmost respect for environmental sustainability.
The “Top Gold, Always Sweeter!” variety was developed by Simon Dickie in New Zealand in the early 2000s. The meeting between Mario Quaranta of “Quaranta Frutta”, Massimo Pittaluga of “Top Fresh” and several Italian kiwi growers led to the idea of setting-up “Top Gold S.r.l”, the company which holds the exclusive for production and marketing.
PSA Italy for Top Gold
Due to their unique flavour, there is a worldwide demand for Top Gold kiwi. The principal export markets are the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, Colombia, India and Taiwan. Exports count for circa 70% of the company’s turnover. Of this, circa 80% transits through the PSA Italy PSA Genova Pra’ and PSA SECH terminals in the port of Genova.
The management of perishable goods such as fruit and vegetables is one of the main services offered by the two terminals, which overall move circa 40 thousand refrigerated containers each year and have constantly monitored storage yards with 1900 reefer sockets inside the terminals.
The partnership between the two terminals and the principal navigation companies is another crucial aspect for Top Gold S.r.l.. In fact, with a delicate product such as yellow kiwi the choice of the best maritime transport service is fundamental. In this regard, Massimo Pittaluga told us: “I personally look after the choice of service together with the client. I do not look for the cheapest service, but the fastest with fewest transhipments, operated by top level companies who know how to carry out processes such as Cold Treatment against the Mediterranean Fly, which is mandatory in some countries”.
In each PSA Italy terminal, the companies that export their refrigerated produce can count on a “Frontier Inspection Point” (FIP), a “Designated Export Point” (DEP), and veterinary inspection services, in addition to numerous international quality certifications.