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Luigi Scattolini, director of the Mercato di Villafranca:

Italy: Peaches from Verona will come earlier in 2014

Hasten harvesting and sale times to try to get higher prices, concentrate on two or three early varieties and diversify - this will be the 2014 strategy for peaches from Verona after a summer characterised by decent prices only until July (despite the lack of produce) and many problems caused by Sharka.

"We must shorten sale times and concentrate between June and mid-July, as the past season was not at all satisfactory," says Luigi Scattolini, director of the Mercato di Villafranca.

"It is common knowledge that producers earn enough only during the first part of the campaign, then profits drop, so we must remain ahead of the game." 

And this operation requires a change in mentality of some sort. In order to do it, the Mercato di Villafranca is considering introducing a prize for upstanding operators: "Those who manage to get higher prices will obtain a discount on the share owed to the Mercato." It is a way to balance the demand-supply relation, as it did not happen even when produce was lacking.

"Consumers are looking for high quality products, so we need focus. And then we must diversify - in addition to peaches, we can have kiwis, apples, pears and apricots. The only thing we must remember is to choose the best varieties and times," concludes the director.

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