It has been quite an intense year for Sicilian fruit cultivation due to the unexpected dynamics caused by the pandemic. The Dipasquale brothers, founders of the Donnalia brand, share this view.
Donnalia peach orchard
"This year has definitely been different due to the Coronavirus. The peach and nectarine campaign is still in full swing - it started in early July and will continue until mid-September," reported Vincenzo and Angelo Dipasquale.
Grade AA nectarines
"In 2019, peach volumes ended 15/20 days early compared to this year. As for quantities, this has been one of the best years, as grades were good and flavor was exceptional thanks to the ideal weather."
In-store promotional activities
Despite the overall exceptional quality, sometimes volumes have not been as good as "there was 30% less produce, which though was compensated by the prices around 40% higher than 2019. Quotations hovered between €1.50 and €2.00/kg during the entire campaign. While it is true that we have had to deal with Spanish competition, people know our fruit is superior, so at least prices have been finally fair."
Vincenzo and Angelo Dipasquale, founders of the Donnalia brand
Fonnalia peaches and nectarines are sold on the domestic market, with 15% destined to central and northern Europe.
"What surprised us is the lively demand of our premium products from the big retail chain and wholesalers. After all, we have invested a lot in both our orchards and our image. The plastic-free packet containing 4 fruits was particularly popular."
The 4-peach packaging solution by Donnalia. The eco-friendly packaging makes extra-quality fruits particularly appealing as it makes it possible to smell their aroma.
"We will continue to invest in new stone fruit orchards, choosing varieties that taste good and that have an appealing color for final consumers. After all, Italian consumers have that extra oompth when it comes to food safety. We are working on something when it comes to logistics, but we prefer to not reveal the details yet."