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Italy: Gavina watermelon harvest started at Agricola Campidanese"The first 100 tons of Gavina were harvested on 12th June and now operations will continue on the next 40 hectares. Quality is excellent with a Brix level of 13, very crunchy flesh and few seeds. Prices are medium-high, so we expect the season to be good," says Salvatore Lotta from the Agricola Campidanese PO. This year, it collected 45% more produce thanks to the widening of its client network.
Melons and watermelons tend to be more popular when it's hot, both in Italy and abroad. "We've already received requests from different European countries (Germany, England, Netherlands and France) as temperatures are high there was well. We will start exporting next week, when volumes will be higher. Foreign retailers - Albert Heijn and Costco, for example - tend to prefer Gavina watermelons."
Towards the end of next week, the PO will also start harvesting round Majores melons. "At the moment, we are harvesting standard piel de sapo melons. Quotations are good at Ä1.40-1-50 for netted melons and Ä1.30-1-40 for piel de sapo melons. Quantities are excellent so far, so expectations are good."
"Last year, there were many problems. As regards mini-watermelons, 2015 had been a great year and retailers started to request a lot of produce, but the lack of scheduling meant around 2,500 hectares were dedicated to this crop, which the market found difficult to absorb. In addition, there were not enough netted melons. This year, we tried to diversify and programme better, so the situation should be more balanced."
"Spain is very strong and its productions and companies are structured so as to compete with all countries. Quality is not excellent, though."
Porjects involving Gavina and Majores
"We are still working to help African children. Kamenge is a municipality in Burundi where there are many orphans and street kids. Father Luigi and his collaborators organise summer activities in July and August to keep them away from crime and teach them jobs."
In addition, on 12th August, the fourth edition of Gavina Summer Music will take place. "It's a marketing initiative with stands where people can find brochures and gadgets to support our projects."
"This year, we have around 50 hectares of this sugar baby seedless variety. Fruits weigh between 6 and 8 kg and, while they used to have seeds until a few years ago, they are now seedless and with a longer shelf-life. In Italy, we are focusing on these fruits now, as people consume a little less but want to eat well."
Eleonora watermelons will mostly be commercialised in Italy, though 99% of the PO's production is destined to domestic and foreign retailers.
Via Doria, 5
09098 Terralba (OR)
Sardegna - Italy
Tel.: +39 0783 022959
Publication date: 6/19/2017
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