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Data of the world and domestic production from a conference in Badoere

Italy: Leader in Europe for green asparagus cultivation

Innovation, promotion, networking and aggressive sales strategies. This is the recipe Luciano Trentini, manager for the European relation for the Cso and chairman of Euroasper, talked about during the "Asparagi nel Veneto: Igp e Dop le sfide future" conference in Badoere di Morgano (Veneto).

2012 data on domestic productive areas shows how Veneto is the leader with 1,626 hectares in front of Campania (1,340 hectares), Puglia (1,273) and Emilia-Romagna (703). Lazio (526) Piedmont (368) and Tuscany (169) follow , with all the other regions under 100 hectares.

Despite a progressive decrease in the worldwide production (from 1.3 million tons in 2000 to little more than 1 million tons in 2010), America and Europe are experiencing an opposite trend: in 2010 America accounted for around 45% of harvest worldwide (29.4% in 2000), while Europe was at 25.7% (19.3% ten years earlier). Asia is decreasing as the produce destined for fresh consumption dropped, and so it went from 49.3% to 27.5%.

As regards single countries, if we compare the 2008-2010 average with 2000-2002 (Fao data), Peru surpassed China: 325 thousand tons (31% of the global production) against 260 thousand (25%). At the beginning of the Noughties, China produced over 560 thousand tons, 45% of the total.
Other players are far behind, with Germany producing 103 thousand tons and Italy with 33 thousand tons (2011 data). 

Italy is a leader in Europe in green asparagus cultivation, whereas competitor countries (mostly Germany and Spain) mainly produce white asparagus. Asparagus has a lot of potential on the domestic market, as very few families buy it: the number of those who bought it at least once does not surpass 40%. In the last decade however, that figure increased by 10%.

During his speech, Trentini (in the photo) stressed the need to find new cultivars and use cultivation techniques with a low environmental impact, as well as promote the product thanks to its Pdo and Pgi marks. (In Italy there are four "certified" varieties: Badoere, Cimadolmo and Altedo have the Pgi mark and Bassano has the Pdo mark).

On top of this, there is the need to act as a team - there are still too many companies that operate alone - and have a sales strategy that can create strong brands.

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