"We specialize in selecting new varieties based on market demands. Specific varieties make it possible to obtain higher productivity and grades, particular organoleptic characteristics and color and, most of all, fruit that ripens when there is little domestic produce available," explains Francesco Paolo Gallo, CEO of Comercial Gallo from Massafra (Taranto).
"There is a lot to be said when it comes to color. Lately, the market has been asking for lemons with flesh that is not too yellow. Consumers have learned that the acidity and juice of fruits with a brighter color is not so fresh."
"Demand increases during the warmest months of the year, so markets import lemons from the other hemisphere. They are not really fresh though, as they are transported, stored, handled and reallocated - meaning it takes at least 60 days for the fruit to reach the market. This is where the Summer Prim selection comes in, the new lemon variety managed by CVVP (Compañía de Variedades Vegetales Protegidas A.I.E.)."
As explained by Gallo, Summer Prim lemons are available between late May and July. Comercial Gallo holds exclusive distribution rights for the Italian territory for a closed-number club project on 500 hectares. Over 20 hectares are currently being planted in Basilicata (Metaponto) and Sicily (Syracuse) that will become productive in the next 3 years."
"Although the Summer Prim cultivar is only available for 70 days, it is an important opportunity for companies. Spain is currently the sole producer of Summer Prim lemons."
"What is happening on a climate level is exceptional. When strong winds swipe the groves, the fruit is damaged by the thorns. In fact, the various phytopathies visible on the fruit are not due to insects but rather to mechanical damage. In such a context, Summer Prim could represent a turning point as the thorns measure 2-3 mm max, therefore causing no worrying lesions. The climate is definitely affecting the quality of this fruit, but there seem to be no particular agronomic problems in the areas most suitable to lemon cultivation."
"Considering the lively consumption of lemons during the summer months, European markets are forced to import this product from Latin America and, lately, also from some Asian countries. The spreading of Summer Prim all over the community territory could reduce the need for imports and provide us with guarantees when it comes to phytosanitary checks."