Coop Sole raspberries are back under the brand name Chicche di Natura

Italy: The raspberry harvest has begun: peak expected in mid-November

"The autumn raspberry campaign at Cooperativa Sole started a few days ago. This year, the area allocated to this reference has more than doubled, increasing from 10 hectares from the previous year to 25 hectares for the current campaign. The cooperative usually combines organic farming and integrated cultivation practices: this also applies to raspberries". This is what Pietro Ciardiello, director of the cooperative, reported to FreshPlaza. 

Pietro Ciardiello

Carlo Coscetta, a technician at Cooperativa Sole, explained: "In order to be able to harvest the raspberries until January, an extensive programming work was carried out, with the planting of 200.000 plants in polytunnels, with gradual transplants being completed from June to mid-July. The warm weather recorded in July, when the plants usually bloom, has had a significant impact on both the quality and quantity of the flowers; in this phase, the pollinators have positively affected the fruit set and its quality. All these factors have contributed to a high productivity. Compared to previous years, we estimate a 20% increase in production."

"The harvesting started at the beginning of October and is following a Gaussian curve trend: at the moment the potential is estimated at around 40%, while the peak of production will be reached in mid-November, with a gradual slowdown from then onwards".

"The cultivation of raspberries requires high management costs, but at the moment what most affects the selling price is the picking by hand: it increases the final price by 30%".

"Last year, we detected sporadic cases of Drosophila suzukii, while this year it seems that the small fruit flies have reappeared in a more serious way: this penalizes the early production, but does not affect that of winter. We are worried about next year's summer cycle."

"It is now the fifth year that the small fruits of Cooperativa Sole have been marketed under the brand name "Chicche di Natura" - concluded Ciardiello - Our members have warmly welcomed this project, allowing us to become a leading role model in the Italian and international large-scale distribution market. Thinking of the future, we aim to bring to completion our range of small fruits, both for the integrated and organic production, in line with our values: good, ethical and sustainable".

Contact information
Cooperativa Sole
Via Prov.le Parete - Tre Ponti
Parete (CE)
Phone.: (+39) 081 5036887
Fax: (+39) 081 5035111

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