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Italy: PGI watermelons sell for twice as much as the standard produce
It hasn't been a great year for watermelons, as average prices weren't satisfactory and the weather overlapped productions. Quantities available exceeded demand. However, there was one particular variety that obtained satisfactory prices thanks to the right promotion - Anguria Reggiana Igp.
Patrizia Manghi from Sal Frutta explained that "production was excellent and we managed to obtain the Pgi certification, meaning prices were very good -double those of unbranded produce. This is the first year these water-melons have been available on the market, so we are rather optimistic for the future. We have also noted that wholesalers responded much better than other sales channels regarding prices."
Anguria Reggiana Igp is cultivated in the Brescello, Novellara, Poviglio, Campagnola, Gualtieri, Cadelbosco Sopra, Gattatico and Reggio Emilia municipalities. As regards the low prices of unbranded watermelons, Patrizia believes that the availability of produce from southern Italy at very low prices contributed to the drop of average prices.
Paolo Biavati grows 13 hectares of watermelons in the Perugia province. "In addition to prices, we had to deal with drought and high temperatures. We couldn't harvest anything from the later transplants. At times, we couldn't even cover production costs. What is more, we aren't even managing to prepare the land for autumn transplants due to drought. This is definitely a year to forget."
Agrieuropa, which commercialised 48 thousand tons of watermelons grown in the Latina province, reports that quality has always been excellent while prices were positive until late June and dropped in July only to recover in August. In July, some produce was left in the fields as it wouldn't have been profitable to harvest it.
Giovanni Guarrasi from Syracuse reports that "prices were good for the early produce. I started harvesting on 28th April and things were good until 10th-15th May, then prices dropped and never recovered."
Publication date: 9/11/2017
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