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As part of the Univeg Group – a specialist in production, logistics, packing, and distribution of fresh produce - UNIVEG Trade Italia Srl is responsible for the export of fruit and vegetables from Italy to Northern Europe, for sales of fresh products imported from South America and South Africa throughout the Mediterranean area, and for organizing import and export activities to UNIVEG’s worldwide customer base. Furthermore, the company participates in developing production plans for fruits and vegetables and offers optimized transport planning services for various needs, including cross-docking solutions together with its strategic partners. For example, as of 2008, cross-docking with other Univeg Group members is offered from a new warehouse near Verona for optimizing logistic solutions and transport services. The location offers a temperature-controlled storage of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as modernized packing facilities.

Given the company’s involvement in import and export of fresh produce across Europe, often starting directly at producer’s site, it already has the ideal infrastructure to test and validate FRESH-DEMO’s capacity for reducing losses and guaranteeing a high product quality. UNIVEG Trade Italia Srl.’s participation in the project is crucial to test FRESH-DEMO’s economic and technical performance during early food supply chain stages (post-harvest processing, transport from producer to storage/distribution centre). This does not only bear benefits for FRESH-DEMO’s future market penetration but also offers UNIVEG Trade Italia Srl itself the possibility to be among the first European fresh produce import/export companies equipped with an ultrasonic humidification/ disinfection technology – which gives the company a competitive advantage in the trade market and allowing it to achieve higher quality, hygienic properties and freshness of their products.

Main tasks in the project:

UNIVEG Trade Italia Srl will use its existing infrastructure to host two out of the five case studies within FRESHDEMO. Subsequently, the demonstration trials will take place here in order to investigate the technical, ecological and economic effectiveness of the proposed humidification/disinfection technique. UNIVEG Trade Italia Srl is responsible for daily handling of the prototypes integrated into the standard production process, will document the experiences withdrawn from the daily use, and will organize a demonstration workshop. UNIVEG-IT will further substantially contribute to definition of customer expectations in terms of product quality, system performance, system maintenance, costs etc. in order to develop the FRESH-DEMO prototype systems exactly towards customer’s needs. Finally, UNIVEG Trade Italia Srl will provide site-specific data (e.g. electricity consumption or transportation distances) for the ecologic and economic evaluation of the FRESH-DEMO performance from a lifecycle perspective. All information gained will allow the technology providers (Contronics Engineering BV, Bioazul S.L., RFT Frischetechnik GmbH and POLYPAN GROUP SA) to develop a marketable product fitting customers’ expectations after the project finishes.

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