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Iceberg lettuce campaign difficult in Italy

"Despite a superior leaf quality with crunchy heads and excellent shelf-life, Italian iceberg lettuce finds it difficult to achieve the same prices of the Spanish or French produce on the European market - it always sells at around €1.20 less per crate," explains Loreto Cerrato from F.lli Cerrato.

On the one hand, this represents a disadvantage and a loss of income, on the other hand, it made Italian Iceberg lettuce particularly appealing, so much so that the company received requests from new clients. "We could not satisfy all demands. It seems incredible, especially if we consider that there is an oversupply of Iceberg lettuce on the market and that Spanish companies are not harvesting produce so as not to loose money."

The company grows Iceberg lettuce on 100 hectares and the campaign lasts from May to November. This year, though, mild temperatures favoured early harvesting. "We sell the produce mainly in Abruzzo to other companies that export Iceberg lettuce or to Southern Italy. The produce is sold in bags, in 9-10 head crates or loose in CPR crates."

This year the company invested in a vacuum cooler (right) which enormously increases the shelf-life of the product.

"Heads go in the vacuum cooler right away and then in a cold storage unit for 24 hours before they are packed. This way, less bacteria develops. Produce in cold storage units can last up to 27 days!"

In addition to Iceberg lettuce, F.lli Cerrato also produces and sells endive, red chicory and carrots.

F.lli Cerrato Srl

Centro lavorazione e vendita
Via S.Valentino
84087 Sarno (SA) - Italy
Tel.: (+39) 081966525
Fax: (+39) 0815137403
Email: /

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