"Half the plants have bent leaves, which is the sign that the onions are ready to be harvested," said growers Salvatore Piazzolla and Michele Catino. The former has 30 years of experience and the latter is a young man who, at 30, saw the opportunity in this sector to start a new life with a job that is literally connected to the land.
The harvest of the Cipolla Bianca di Margherita IGP (White onion from Margherita with Protected Geographical Indication) is in full swing and in a few days the onions will be on the shelves. From mid-April to the end of July, this agricultural excellent product grown in the north- eastern coast of Apulia will be available in retail stores, general markets and greengrocers, in an environmentally friendly packaging that is 100% recyclable.
In 2020, 3,090 tons of onions were certified under PGI, which is 18% more than in 2019. This year, there are good chances that 50% of the total onion crop is likely to be PGI-labeled.
"We hope that our efforts to grow the best white onion in the next three months will be reflected in a sales price sufficient to reward all our efforts, time and investments. It is a result that depends on many factors, the weather conditions, the packers operating in the area, how and how much the retailers offer sell the onions, and most importantly, the it depends on consumers," said the growers.
Again this year, many growers were worried about the cold temperatures, lack or excess of rain and excessive heat. They have worked really hard, going through the age-old techniques of growing their own seedlings in seedbeds to the stages of uprooting and transplanting plants, one-by-one, in the sand.
"As a consortium, we want to increase the value of the onion and raise awareness of its characteristics. In recent years, promotion has paid off. Since 2016, about 35% of our sales have been sold through the large-scale retail trade, increasing the chances of placing the certified product on the market, with successful results. With the guarantees it entails, the PGI certification ensures consumers about the production techniques and about the organoleptic qualities of this onion (sweet, succulent, tender, crunchy)," said Giuseppe Castiglione.
The aim of the Consortium is not only related to the increase of sales, but to the increase of the producers' income, and this could be their best season on the basis of last year's numbers.
For more information:
Consorzio di Tutela
della Cipolla bianca di Margherita IGP
Via Ronzino, 4
76016 Margherita di Savoia (BT)
+39 339 44 06863