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OP Zuccarella (Italy):

"We have been securing strawberries in supermarkets since early November"

In addition to the commercial results, the current strawberry campaign in southern Italy is considered by insiders to be highly abnormal on the agronomic/productive front, already in the first weeks of autumn, when serious problems with weak plant rooting forced growers to repeatedly replace plants, delaying plant development.

Large-scale retail trade processing

Giuseppe Zuccarella, production manager of the Italian cooperative OP Zuccarella in Scanzano Jonico (Basilicata, Italy): "Strawberry plants in Basilicata have been suffering since the first days of transplanting. The yields are still low, and it is estimated that the decline could continue in the coming days, reaching percentages of up to -40 percent compared to the same period in 2023. However, we are less affected by the difficulties encountered in the field, declining by no more than 5%. We have been securing premium strawberries on a daily basis since early November when shifts with customers allowed us to fill a good portion of orders. The qualities that set us apart are consistency, quality, and quantity. We are currently shipping close to 40 tons of strawberries per day to 20 supermarket chains. Prices are 15-20% higher than in the past, and there don't seem to be any major competitors. There is room for everyone, and the supply is limited when it comes to the potential of the plants, while the demand is very strong."

Giuseppe Zuccarella

The strawberry campaign for the cooperative will not end soon. There are currently 40 hectares in production. "Over time, we have refined some techniques that allow us to send good quality strawberries for 10 months of the year, thanks in part to cold storage and re-flowering varieties. For the warmer months, we will implement new methods of shading the greenhouses and cooling methods using water mist, with the aim of extending the harvest until the end of July while still being able to count on higher volumes and a product that can be considered a premium by consumers."

For more information:
OP Zuccarella Soc. Coop. Agr.
Via Parisi, 16
Scanzano Jonico (MT) - Italy
Tel.: +39 0835 418009
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: opzuccarella

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