The chestnut harvest starts in early autumn, and this year has been a difficult year for the crop. Nick Pacia, CEO of Trucco, Inc. says: “The growing season has been difficult as farmers have been facing increased challenges managing the quality of the crop. We primarily import our chestnuts from Italy and the weather has been tough there this year. The weather conditions in Italy have affected all produce in the area, not only chestnuts but also the kiwis and other products.”
Turning to other origins
In order to continue to provide their customers with the best quality chestnuts despite the difficulties of the Italian season, Trucco has expanded the areas from which they import the product. Pacia says: “Because we have a very large pool of growers we are able to source the best crop for our customers. We keep in constant communication with our Italian partners as they survey the fields and select the best field for export. This has prompted Trucco to leave many orchards in Italy untouched resulting in lower volumes of Italian chestnuts this season.”
He adds: “The volume out of Italy has been down these past few years due to quality issues. We only import the highest quality produce so we have begun to supplement our supplies with product from other countries. We have recently expanded our chestnut sourcing to include Greece, Turkey, Portugal, and Spain.”
Tight market with high prices
The chestnuts are imported both by air and by sea, though this year Trucco has been relying primarily on air freight to ensure the quality and freshness of the chestnuts following the difficult growing season. “The demand for our seasonal produce always sees a dramatic increase ahead of the holidays and this year has been no exception and we have to work hard to keep up with the needs of our customers. The shortage on Italian chestnuts has created a tighter market this year with higher prices. These prices have also fluctuated because they are affected by the demand in exports.” Pacia says.
The company also offers their chestnuts in different, innovative presentations to make it easier for consumers to incorporate them into their diets. “As an alternative to fresh chestnuts Trucco offers 100 gram pouches of organic ready-to-eat chestnuts. These pouches are available year-round and offer consumers the deliciousness of a fresh chestnut as a convenient snack or addition to recipes,” Pacia concludes.