"We are still facing a few difficulties finding labor, though there are more and more young specialized workers," reports Giuseppe Ceparano, general manager for Vitis Aurunca.
The company is located in Cellole (CE) and covers 51 hectares divided into 5 different plots. It grows a variety of fruit, olives and wine grapes.
"The 2018 pear campaign was satisfactory and the prices paid by Cooperativa Sole were also good. Our 3.3 hectares with the Coscia, Abate and Carmen varieties produced approximately 100 tons without resorting to ultra-intensive cultivation. We are looking to extend the orchard to 7 hectares and are also testing a few early varieties such as Turandot on Quince BA 29 rootstocks. We will also introduce the Falstaff variety upon request of Coop Sole."
"Our summer produce campaign (peaches, Percoca peaches and nectarines) is about to start and things are looking good. Blossoming was abundant although slightly late. It is common knowledge that peach cultivation in Campania is going through a crisis, so much so that we are also planning on gradually uprooting 10 hectares. Sharka (Plum pox virus - PPV) also continues to be a problem. Tebana, Romea and Baby Gold 5 Percoca peaches continue to do well, though, and are very appreciated on a local level."
"I believe almonds could be a valid replacement for peaches. They require little labor as operations can be automated and no large volumes of water are needed. I would also like to point out that innovation must always go hand in hand with tradition - Italy used to produce almonds in the 1950s while now it imports them."
"I also see a few opportunities when it comes to citrus fruit. Cellole would be a suitable area and groves would provide work to laborers throughout the year. Thanks to my contacts with retailers and cooperatives, I can say that local demand exceeds supply. In the future, we would like to promote local biodiversity more, reducing chemical inputs thanks to constant monitoring."