"The demand-supply ratio in Italy is slightly unbalanced when it comes to cherries, as supply cannot meet demand. The weather in May, and especially the hailstorms that hit the orchards, led to limited volumes being available," explains Giacomo Suglia, president of the APEO (Associazione Produttori ed Esportatori Ortofrutticoli).
"As a consequence, markets have had to look abroad. In addition to Italy, the leading cherry producers are Spain, Greece and Turkey."
"Puglia is the leading cherry producer region with around 17,000 hectares, but Trentino Alto Adige, Emilia Romagna and Veneto (Marostica) are also currently harvesting cherries."
"Despite the fact that sales prices are slightly more expensive with respect to the foreign fruit, also due to our higher labor and transport costs, people always try to buy local, also due to higher guarantees when it comes to plant protection products. Italy is fully within the thresholds and is one of the countries that pays more attention to professionalism, respect for the environment and sustainability."
"There have been no particular varietal developments over the past few years when it comes to cherries, except for a few experiments in Emilia Romagna. The strongest and most profitable cultivar in Puglia is Ferrovia. Usually around 50 thousand tons are available (comprising all varieties) but, this year, only 60% of the production was harvested as the rest was damaged by the hailstorms in May. It has thus not been a great campaign for Puglia producers, especially those who only have early varieties available such as Bigarreau."