The Pesca di Leonforte IGP (PGI Leonforte Peach, translator's note) commercial campaign will start the first week of September, 15 days later compared to previous years, due to the very high summer temperatures which reached almost 50 degrees. The absence of rain in the last 5 months has stressed the plants; therefore, although the fruits are tasty and of high degree Brix, they are smaller in size due to water scarcity.
"The novelty that characterizes the current commercial campaign is that this year the entire distribution of fruit coming from our 100 hectares of land will take place in the name and on behalf of the Organizzazione di Produttori La Deliziosa (Producer's Organization La Deliziosa, translator's note), a leading company in the production and marketing of excellence in the fruit and vegetable sector, in Sicily and in the whole of Italy", says Domenico Di Stefano, vice president and commercial manager of the Consorzio di Tutela della Pesca di Leonforte IGP (Peach Protection Consortium of Leonforte PGI, translator's note) to FreshPlaza.
Domenico Di Stefano, vice president of the Consorzio di Tutela della Pesca di Leonforte IGP and Salvatore Bua, commercial director of OP La Deliziosa.
It is in the area around Leonforte (EN) that this authentic jewel of Italian agriculture and Slow Food presidium is cultivated. It represents an example of how environmental and human factors, ie the production technique, determine the specific characteristics of the product.
Over the years, the particular quality characteristics of these peaches, also known as September peaches or late Leonforte peaches, have crossed the regional borders, establishing themselves in the markets of the entire peninsula, so much so that since 2010 they have been recognized by the European Union with the IGP Protected Geographical Indication.
Starting in the 1970s, more specialized peach-growing began to take hold in the area, leading to an increase in the number of areas cultivated with peach trees.
The peculiarity that distinguishes the Peach of Leonforte PGI is the practice of bagging the individual fruits, a totally natural antiparasitic method, which gives the fruit high organoleptic properties, as well as an exceptional characteristic flavor.
There are currently about 100 hectares in production that will allow a production of 7 million peaches. Considering that the fruits are counted and bagged by hand one by one, this figure should be exact. When the fruits are shielded in this way, they taste good and look beautiful, as they are less exposed to both the weather and phytosanitary attacks.
In fact, pests are not particularly attracted to the scent and colour of the fruits which are protected by the parchment paper that surrounds them.
"In addition to the promotion of fresh products, our goal is to be present on the markets throughout the year. To this respect, with a production of 50 thousand jars a year between jams, syrup and semi-finished products used for pastries and ice cream we are re-launching our Leonforte peaches also in the segment of processed food. Of course Leonforte is the commercial brand of peach jams, made of 70% of fruit processed with few added sugars and produced at low temperatures. The commercial channels (specialized in both fresh and processed food) are the large-scale retail trade and specialized shops both in Italy and abroad ", concludes Domenico.