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Marica Soattin

Italy: What I expect from the CIV as new director-general

Three weeks after her appointment, Marica Soattin (in the photo), the new director general of the CIV- Consorzio italiano vivaisti of San Giuseppe di Comacchio (Emilia-Romagna) was interviewed.

The choice made by the Board of directors reflects the need to strengthen organisation and innovation, in addition to the development of the huge gene pool collected by the Consortium during its 30 years of activity. This same activity was created by three historic companies such as Salvi Vivai, Tagliani Vivai and Vicai Mazzoni.

"The CIV, with its Varietal innovation centre, is maybe the sole example of a private research centre in Italy. I immediately found the challenge of reorganising its work both at a domestic and international level stimulating."

"The Centre is well-known for its strawberries and apples with excellent quality, adaptability and resistance. In particular, strawberries achieved very good results at a European level, which were consolidated also thanks to its network of nursery gardens. The objective is to one day reach non European markets such as the US and Canada, with which we have agreed on a experimentation and improvement programme."

The director adds, "At the moment, I am focusing on apples and on the genetic improvement work that was done over 20 years and which led to the creation of varieties selected according to the quality requested by consumers - juiciness and crunchiness in particular - but also according to the resistances that are useful for producers. These make it easier to distinguish fruits and therefore to work on marks and brands."

"The Fujion project is the perfect example, as it has already obtained the support of ten important private and cooperative groups. The Fujion® variety was presented three years ago as part of the Sweet Resistant® series, scab-resistant sweet apples patented by the CIV, and it combines characteristics appreciated by consumers with easy cultivation and good yields, which are ideal for producers."

"In addition, the expansion of Modì® apples continues together with the strengthening of commercial relations both in Europe - Germany and England in particular - and outside the EU with US, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay and Russia."

The position of Modì® is strengthened by it being the only ecological apple, a characteristic which is communicated clearly and directly to consumers thanks to Carbon Footprint measurements.

"Finally, a lot of attention will be placed on gene improvement for characteristics such as crunchiness associated to scab-resistance, thick peel, etc. The development of sale strategies is also important, so that the CIV can grow and become an independent company," concludes Marica Soattin.

Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti

Strada Statale Romea, 116
44020 San Giuseppe di Comacchio (FE)
Tel.: (+39) 533 399431
Fax: (+39) 533 399441

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