"This year, trees were particularly laden with fruits and producers had to perform considerable thinning operations, which require high labor costs. Harvesting is currently in full swing with the Big Top, Royal Glory and Romea peach cultivars and Orange Rubis and Pellecchiella apricots," reports Antonio Giaccio from OP Giaccio Frutta.
"The harvesting of stone fruit started in May with extra-early cultivars in tunnels such as Big Bang (nectarines), Sagittaria (yellow peaches), Alexandra (white peaches) and Pricia (apricots). It then continued with nectarine early cultivar Big Bang in open fields with the early percoca peach cultivar Egea."
"Brix levels of early and very early cultivars were compromised due to the incessant rain in spring, but luckily things changed in June when the weather improved."
The manager reports how, nowadays, consumers require high-quality products and prefer to eat less but better. Percoca and white peaches are the most popular at the moment.
"Smaller fruit is sold at lower prices, while extra grades reach higher prices. Quotations at harvesting are 25% lower than 2018."
Giaccio Frutta is also harvesting plums and the Sorriso di primavera and Goccia D'oro yellow cultivars and Profumata red cultivar in particular. Demand is lively.
"Harvesting operations should end towards late October thanks to staggered ripening and the vast cultivation area that includes both coastal and mountain areas."
"We opted for plastic-free packaging a few years ago and abandoned wooden crates. Recyclable paper and cardboard packaging solutions are getting more and more popular."
"In order to deal with this period of crisis, we focus on product quality as we are certain this element is always rewarded. We therefore require stricter checks on imported products, on their traceability and residues. We need to support producer organizations and the cooperation between them: if the various POs worked together, they could obtain higher prices."