Over 50 Sicilian farms came together to form Kore Frutti di Sicilia, a company founded with the express purpose of cultivating pomegranates according to innovative methods imported to Sicily from Israel. Today, the Kore member producers are working on 160 hectares of land over 7 Sicilian provinces, and have expanded their range to include mangoes and avocados.
The founding members all shared the following goals: to create a network, to form successful partnerships, and to establish an agribusiness supply chain in which nothing was left to chance. This chain would encompass the selection of genetic traits for the cultivated plants; the promotion of environmentally friendly techniques to minimise the use of plant protection products and help reduce water consumption; the standardisation of cultivation techniques; a thorough fruit selection process; and partnerships with processing and logistics companies and, most importantly, distributors.
One such distributor, Valfrutta Fresco S.p.A., has been selling premium fresh pomegranates since 2014. Kore is also a member of APO CONERPO, one of the largest producer organisations in Europe and the most important producer organisation in Italy, representing 6,700 producers across multiple cooperatives in Italy’s most prolific fruit and vegetable growing regions.
These cooperatives are dedicated to planning and managing the production of fresh fruit for national and foreign markets, including several specialising in organic produce.
The Kore group has now moved into the processing sector, represented by Kore Trading S.R.L. After several years working on the production and sale of frozen natural pomegranate juice, as well as constant research and development to create new products, Kore Trading S.R.L. was launched into the Italian national market with two finished pomegranate-based products.
Kore pure pomegranate juice and pomegranate nectar are made from the Wonderful variety, which is known for its quality and sweet and sour flavour: both products are 100% natural, free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, and have a guaranteed two-year shelf life.
In 2019, the Kore group is preparing to move into the international market: over 1,200 tonnes of fresh pomegranates will be harvested between October and December (with an estimated harvest of 3,000 tonnes for 2021), and the range of natural juices and nectars will be expanded to include 12 different products starting in the spring, all obtained from produce selected and grown in Italy.
The agribusiness supply chain is not yet complete, with other pomegranate-based products due to launch into the market by summer.
The company is also refining the manufacturing processes to ensure that all the by-products of industrial processing are used in a sustainable manner: the pomegranate seeds and skins will not be discarded after pressing, but will instead be used to create products for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry.