Previously reported Ugo Palara from Agrintesa has been confirmed by Giampaolo Dal Pane (pictured), CEO of Summerfruit. According to Dal Pane, the delay could be of 10-12 days. "Ripening has been affected by the weather all over Italy, so we expect harvesting to start towards the end of October. That is, taking into account it doesn't freeze or flood, as that could complicate the situation."
Dal Pane thinks that the delay is not going to compromise the campaign ("quite the opposite, actually, as it could guarantee better quality. The important thing is not to rush things as fruits must not be unripe") although at the beginning it will favour Greece and early cultivars in general.
Massimo Ceradini (in the photo), from Ceradini Group in Verona, is more cautious: "It is still too early to make a comment. We expect delays in ripening because of the fruit trend this year, but we still haven't analysed the situation."
"In addition, the weather is unpredictable. Our company policy is to indicate the end date rather than the start date - the longer kiwi's stay on the plants, the better. Operations should end around 10th-15th November."
During the current season, Ceradini should market 20% more produce: 11,000 tons with respect to the 9,500 tons of the last season.
Alessandro Pernigo (pictured), from Frutta C2, another company from the Verona province, indicates 28th October 2013 as the latest day to start harvesting. In 2012, it all started on the 25th. "There shouldn't be any major delays, as ripening is in the norm. Of course a lot depends on the weather, as if it rains a lot there might be some problems. Anyway, next week we will make an assessment."
Frutta C2 is expecting to market 15,000 thousand kiwis, in line with the previous year.
Daniela Lepidio (above), sales manager for Agrilepidio Srl, located in Cisterna di Latina (Lazio), says that "these days, fields are inaccessible. If the cold weather doesn't arrive and push Brix levels, we could be talking about a one-week delay with respect to last year, especially as forecasts are pretty bad. Anyway it is still much too early to say something."
Piedmont kiwis are ten days away
Piedmont is also is preparing for harvesting, even though it will not be the same, due to the unusual weather after summer, even though changes will only mean a few days.
"Despite the fact that rain in spring delayed blossoming, the drop in temperatures in the last few days favoured ripening," says Domenico Paschetta, chairman of the Ortofruit Italia PO.
"For our companies, harvesting will start around the 21st - fruits will be ripe and with the right sugar level. Quality should also be good as regards grades, organoleptic balance and shelf-life if we consider pre-harvest analyses."