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Commercial exchanges of asparagus on the up

The Sicilian cultivation of green asparagus employing specialized techniques started around the mid-1990s. The popularity of the crop increased quickly so much so that there are 50 hectares now, 20 of which in polytunnels. 

The Consorzio tra Produttori Agricoli "Asparago Sovrano" was set up in 2013 in Piazza Armerina by Imbaccari Soprano. It gathers around 10 producers from the Catania, Enna and Caltanissetta provinces and has the purpose of promoting, safeguarding and commercializing asparagus in compliance with existing regulations. 

Crop techniques with a low-environmental impact, integrated pest management, good agricultural practices, compliance with production standards and a good hygiene contribute to ensuring the excellent health characteristics of the produce. The asparagus grown are part of the Asparagus officinalis species.

The production calendar goes from late January to late May and members produce around 100,000 kg a year. The produce is commercialized all over Italy via the big retail chain and fresh produce markets. Foreign demand is also lively (Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands).

4 categories are destined to commercialization:

  • "Extra" asparagus in ½ Kg bunches - maximum length 27 cm, green color for 3/4 of the length, close apex, no alterations and defects, shoot diameter measured mid-height > 12 mm, average grade 16-18 mm;
  • "Prima" asparagus in ½ Kg bunches - maximum length 27 cm, green color for over 3/4 of the length, close apex, no alterations and defects, shoot diameter measured mid-height between 8 and 12 mm, average grade 10 mm;
  • "asparagina" asparagus in ½ Kg bunches - maximum length 27 cm, green color for over 3/4 of the length, close apex, presence of alterations and defects, shoot diameter measured mid-height < 8 mm;
  • "punte" asparagus loose in 6 kg crates - maximum length 12 cm, green color.

"The 2019 campaign ended with an average of €4/kg for the extra category. The season could have ended better, but did not because of the weather. While volumes remain more or less unvaried, we grow every year thanks to the agreements with our partners and communication is essential when it comes to this," explained president Enzo Rasà.

Enzo Rasà

"The nutritional properties of our asparagus are good. Asparagus are rich in fiber compared to other vegetables with limited protein and sugar. They are rich in elements essential for man, and especially calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and potassium in particular. Potassium means asparagus have diuretic properties, useful in case of urinary retention as it facilitates the elimination of excess liquid and waste produced by the metabolism. From an organoleptic point of view, our unique soil and weather conditions convey a delicate yet harmonious flavor." 

Contacts:
Consorzio Asparago Sovrano 
Contrada Imbaccari Soprano
94015 Piazza Armerina (EN) – Italy
Tel./Fax: +39 3294267178
Email: info@asparagosovrano.it
Website: www.asparagosovrano.it


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