This year, the Ionex-Trans family fruit-growing enterprise from the village of Costesti in the Ialoveni District was the first Moldovan agricultural enterprise to acquire and use a line for filling its own products into flow packs, which are plastic trays in an airtight transparent bag. Until now, only a few of the largest trading companies that did not possess agricultural land had such equipment in Moldova.
The line’s capacity is 60 flow packs per minute. This autumn, Ionex-Trans began to package plums and they were sold to supermarket chains in Chisinau. Its plum supply season will finish by the end of November. Next week, the company will start packing table grapes to sell on the domestic market.
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According to Ion Ionas, administrator of Ionex-Trans, their company’s main tasks this season are to iron out the details in their production and commercial logistics. For example, they will identify the optimal tray sizes/shapes and bag film types, finalize the branding on packaging and containers, and determine the most effective distribution channels. In the next marketing year, Ionex-Trans will start exporting fruits and grapes in flow packs. The approximate volume will be over 100 tons.
Experts from USAID’s Efficient Agriculture in Moldova (APM) project believe that the use of flow packs provides a bonus to consumers, merchants and producers of dessert fruits. Such packaging is more hygienic, which is important in a pandemic situation because it increases the shelf life and reduces product loss in standard market conditions, which also rationally justifies the premium price.
Ionex-Trans has 92 hectares of perennial crop plantations (more than half of which are plum orchards), 9 hectares (Pergola type) of table vineyards, a refrigerator with 250 tons of storage capacity, and a sorting and packaging line. The enterprise is certified according to GlobalG.A.P. and GRASP standards (certification and purchase of the flow pack line were possible thanks to financial support from USAID/APM). This year, the company exported 1,100 tons of plums (more than 90% to the European Union) and plans to export to the EU and Russia approximately 1,000 tons of grapes.
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