On 8th March 2018, a agreement between AVI (Agriculture Variety Innovation) and Cooperativa Monviso Fruit was signed for the cultivation of seedless table grapes in Piedmont and in the Saluzzo area in particular. Representatives from institutions, production categories and the credit world as well as producers and operators attended the press conference.
The production of the Crimson and Thompson varieties started in 2010 thanks to a team led by Claudio Capitini and Franco Monge from Monviso Fruit and now covers around 50 hectares.
"This is our fourth year in the business. The produce was planted in this area thanks to an idea of my brother Franco and Claudio Capitini. We started getting to know the markets and results are now excellent. This crop works because the market demands it and quality is very high. It could be a suitable alternative to traditional fruit crops such as kiwis and peaches," explains Claudio Maonge, President of Monviso Fruit.
"We're thrilled, as we had never imagined we would have reached such results. We got the idea when kiwi bacteriosis hit our area. Our staff, coordinated by Franco Monge, needed to provide new opportunities to producers. We discovered that table grapes has an interesting window in Piedmont, as the south produces it rather early and leaves a gap in autumn," adds Claudio Capitini from Monviso Fruit.
The success was made possible thanks to agronomist Giuseppe Tagliente, who managed to obtain a high-quality production that is proving much appreciated by the leading European markets - Great Britain, Germany, Belgium and Spain - as well as the domestic one.
Seedless grapes harvested on 17th October 2017.
Tagliente supported Monviso Fruit and believed in the project. The first 3-4 vineyards of grapes with no royalties started in 2011 and it's how Monvison table grapes was born.
"It's a new fruit for us, but we have understood that we can produce excellent seedless grapes. Before planting, we want to get to know the company and support it throughout the investment and production process. This is what makes the difference. Table grapes has great value and producing it demands great effort, but quality is everything. We are rather small on the global market but can become someone by working together. For example, over 90% of the British market demands seedless grapes and that's the future.
AVI, represented by entrepreneur Carlo Lingua from RK Growers, was established in 2009 and acquired exclusive rights for all ARRA™ seedless varieties all over Europe. Thanks to its constant growth and agreements, vineyards now cover over 400 hectares.
Arra 32 variety harvested on 5th October 2017.
"Considering that table grape vineyards cover 70 thousand hectares between Puglia and Sicily, the Piedmont production is a welcome novelty. The agreement between Avi and Monviso Fruit was created because we are grape specialists. It's not easy to cultivate grapes in Piedmont, but future growers must be professionals. The market requires produce that is good, healthy and sustainable.
Seedless grapes meets new consumer demands while at the same time guaranteeing a profit to producers. The hope is for administrative, political and financial institutions to support such innovative projects.