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Franco Pignataro

Italy: Drop in consumption of table grapes, the future is in innovation

"Despite having harvested average volumes of high quality table grapes up until the first rainfalls in October, there was a significant drop in consumption especially for the Italia variety, which led to a drop of prices. As regards vegetables, the season is still early, so we cannot make an assessment," says Franco Pignataro, owner of the company.

Dr Franco Pignataro srl, located in Puglia, has been on the market for over two generations. It produces, processes, stores and sells fruit and vegetables.

The main productions are: cabbages (250 hectares), broccoli (150 ha) and seeded and seedless table grapes (250 ha). The company covers 30,000 sq m, 7,000 of which are occupied by processing lines, a cherry and a watermelon grader, an idro-cooling, 15 cold storage units.

The strong point of the company is direct production: three owned companies with GlobalGAP certifications and the GRAP modules on good social practice are followed by agronomists part of the company (with the IFS, BRC and UNI EN ESO 14001:2000 certifications).

Retailers are the main sale channels, absorbing 95% of volumes. "We ship our produce to retailers both in Northern and Southern Italy as well as Switzerland, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Overseas, we have Arab countries and Canada."

90% of the produce is shipped via road in refrigerated trucks, or overseas by sea. "We are very flexible as regards packaging and can adapt to the needs of our clients, for example we have single packets between 0.5 and 1.5 kg or loose produce packets between 2 and 11 kg." 

Above: Vittoria grapes. Below: Pizzutella grapes.

"We are particularly affected by competition coming from Spain, Greece and Turkey as regards table seedless grapes between July and mid-October. From October onwards, we have to compete with produce coming from Brazil, Chile, South Africa and Argentina."

"The future is in R&D. In particular, packaging and shelf-life innovation and research for new seedless varieties, which have to be medium-late and with low production costs so we can compete. R&D will have to be the strong point not only for table grapes, but also for the whole Italian fruit and vegetable world."

Superior Seedless.

Dr Franco Pignataro srl

Str. Prov. le per Triggiano – CP 171
70016 Noicattaro (BA)
Tel.: (+39) 080 478 5964
Fax: (+39) 080 478 5993

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