All farmers dream of getting well-coloured fruits with a deep rich taste, but not all of them have such unique growing conditions and modern technological approaches as Greenco from Armenia. The company took part in EastFruit events and attracted our attention with its approach to the fruit business, which we would like to talk about. Greenco is actively increasing the production of premium apples, cherries and apricots and is actively looking for buyers for its unique products.
Since the company’s apple orchards are located in the mountains, at an altitude of 1700-1800 meters above sea level, sharp differences in night and day temperatures at 310-320 sunny days a year give fruits a premium colour, deep taste, high organoleptic qualities and a crispy texture. These fruits cannot fail to please the most demanding consumers.
Despite that Greenco is relatively young – only in 2017 the first 30 hectares of modern intensive orchards of apple, cherry and apricot were laid in the Ararat Valley, the company relies on the highest quality standards from cultivation to storage, post-harvest activities like sorting and marketing of products. The unique mild climate of the region, where the company’s orchards are located, allows to get the first harvest of late varieties of apples in early August, which gives it almost a month of advantage over suppliers from countries such as Ukraine or Moldova.
Today the company produces 2,000 tons of apples of the highest quality varieties Gala, Red Chief, Golden, Granny Smith, Fuji, Esmeralda, about 200 tons of local apricot Shalah and 50 tons of cherries of innovative Italian varieties of the “Sweet” family.
Thanks to the optical sorting of apples and a modern storage facility with a regulated gaseous medium (RGS) with a capacity of 3,000 tons, Greenco sells apples 8 months a year – from the end of July (Gala variety) to April. Almost all of the company’s products are exported to Russia and Ukraine. Large retail chains of the Russian Federation such as X5 and JSC Thunder are among the company’s clients. Greenco also has experience in exporting cherries to the Middle East, where the company sees significant export opportunities.
Greenco is actively looking for opportunities to diversify exports and believes that the unique quality of Armenian fruit will be of interest not only to buyers in Russia and Ukraine, but also in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Southeast Asia and the European Union.
From the very beginning, the Greenco project aimed at producing high-quality products for foreign markets, so the company invested in the implementation of a high-tech solution from the Italian company Advice & Consulting S.R.L. Based on soil and climate analyses, certified virus-free seedlings were selected and delivered, high-tech support and protection systems against hail and rain, a fully automated drip irrigation and fertigation system were installed, which allows to introduce necessary nutrients into the water at the right time. All the above components meet the highest standards of modern horticulture to ensure premium quality and environmental friendliness of the fruit grown.
In addition, at Greenco farms there are meteorological stations, electronic pest traps, sensors for determining the need for watering, information from which is analysed by agronomists of Advice & Consulting SRL. The system allows managing the farm from a smartphone, while ensuring high quality products and careful monitoring of the farm, which will soon be confirmed by an international certificate Global G.A.P. The implementation of the standard has been delayed a bit due to the pandemic, but will be finished by the start of the new season.
The company plans to further expand the range and volume of fruit grown and exported. By 2024, Greenco will supply about 5,000 tons of apples, 450 tons of cherries, 300 tons of table grapes and 300 tons of famous Armenian apricots.
Next season delivery of high-quality cherries will be ensured by reducing the internal temperature of the fruit to + 2- + 5 degrees with a hydrocooling system to be purchased in 2022. This means that the company’s cherries can be delivered to almost any country in the world. The company also plans to launch the production of freshly squeezed apple juice up to 20-30 tons.
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