"Italian production is seldom carried out professionally. Most chestnut orchards are centuries old and are not easy to reach with mechanical means."
One of the main European producers is Turkey. There are companies in that country who export to Italy throughout the whole year, with the aim of supplying the processing industry.
"Chestnuts grow best in hill and foothill areas, but modern chestnut cultivation must adapt to flat areas in order to evolve."
Enrico Zanzi, technician from Vivai F.lli Zanzi, explains that the most popular variety is Bouche De Betizac, which is sold on both the domestic and foreign markets. We have also been exporting to Croatia and Bulgaria. Irrigation is practically compulsory and planting layouts are similar to those of walnuts, i.e. 5x5. Fertilisation and nutrition plans are also essential. Chestnut trees prefer soils with a rather acidic pH."
Italian chestnut cultivation needs to step up and producers must work together to make the produce available for at least two months a year with constant quality. Packaging and communication must be good and chestnuts must be sold conveying the emotions of the territory of origin.