"After a good start in early June with prices hovering around €0.70/kg, the Canary yellow melon campaign saw prices drop to €0.35/kg in mid August and has recently gone back to €0.45/kg," reports Pietro Campo, who runs Azienda Agricola Segesta in Calatafimi (TP) with his father Vincenzo.
Pietro and Vincenzo Campo
The company grows 80 hectares of Canary yellow melons harvested from late July to mid-September. Most of the produce is of the Kosmos F1 variety, which is particularly suitable for later periods.
"Kosmos F1 is a new variety for us and, although it seems to have quite an extended cultivation period, we preferred transplanting it exclusively for the later period. Plants are rustic and very resistant to powdery mildew. Brix levels are very high and shelf-life is good. We carried out a few tests last year and feedback was great. We are particularly pleased with how it did on the big retail chain, meaning we have made the right choice."
A good varietal choice
"When sorting, we pay a lot of attention to choose uniform grades so as to meet the needs of retail chains, as they absorb 70% of our supplies. While grades between 1.8 and 2.5 kg are destined to supermarkets, those exceeding 2.5 kg are sent to the wholesale market. In both cases, quality standards are guaranteed. The fact that Kosmos F1 does not produce fruits of an excessive size means it is perfect for both our two main channels."
The company boasts over 35 years of experience in when it comes to melon cultivation (both yellow and black of the Purceddu type). Azienda agricola Segesta works with the main players in Italy and is a point of reference for the sector. Part of the produce is indirectly exported to northern Europe.