"The fennel summer campaign has just started. Volumes are lacking at the moment due to both the cold weather of the past few month and the difficulties in finding labor for the transplants performed during the pandemic emergency. Prices, however, are interesting: we are talking about 70 eurocents more per kg than last year," reports Pippo Zarrella, sales manager of Zarrè Srl (Bellizzi, Salerno), which specializes in the processing of fennel all year round.
In order to ensure constant supplies all year round, the company sources the produce from various Italian regions such as Abruzzo, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria and Puglia. "We are currently processing the produce from Fucino and we handle 30 tons per day."
"Our fennel is destined partly to the domestic market and partly to northern Europe. The German market is without doubt the most interesting, though supplies will restart in October. We have recently approached the British market, which seems to have found our product interesting."
The Zarrellas are a historic family in the Sele plain with a long-standing tradition of producers and traders of fennel and artichokes. Zarre Srl was established by Pippo Zarrella in 2015 and deals exclusively with the processing and commercialization of fennel all year round.
The operating facility is located in Bellizzi (SA), where there is a large processing facility of 1200 sq m equipped with processing room, refrigerated units and a large loading/unloading courtyard.
"Our objective is to focus on quality - I believe this is the winning strategy to be competitive on the market. It is essential not to undersell the product," explains administrator Stefania Distocco.
"If we persevere, we could double the quantities and turnover over the next few years. Just consider that, thanks to our winning strategy, we have increased our turnover by over 50% in only 5 years."
"In the future, we have planned to widen our fennel range with the zero residue line. What is more, we will introduce a flowpacked cardboard packaging containing 2 and 4 fennel heads. We would also like to extend the facility, considering the increase in quantities handled."