Light-colored flowerless mini-zucchinis are a niche product, less known than their darker and longer cousin. In Calabria, they are grown in five hectares of greenhouses and reach their markets of destination in 24 hours.
"These zucchinis have a grade of 7-8 cm, while classic dark ones usually have a grade of 14-20 cm. They are still little known, but they are much appreciated in Emilia-Romagna and mostly northern Europe (Sweden, Finland, Germany and Austria)," explains Vincenzo Galati, who managers F.lli Galati with his brothers Francesco and Giuseppe. The company is located in Acconia di Curinga (CZ) and specializes in the greenhouse cultivation of strawberries and zucchini.
"We grow light-colored zucchini on around 5 hectares and the yield is around 40 tons per hectare. The produce is then placed in 1 kg punnets and sold in 30x50 cardboard crates holding six punnets each. The current quotation is over €2.00/kg."
Logistics is always a problem, considering the distance between Calabria and Northern Europe. "This is why, as soon as the produce is harvested, it is sent to a platform in Verona which then ships it to its destination. Everything occurs within 24 hours, so the produce is not stored."