It is a known fact that many in the Campania region are looking for an alternative to peaches. Coop Sole has identified small fruits and kiwifruits as a valid replacement. The cooperative has in fact been investing in kiwifruits for the past few years, as explains Coop Sole Director Pietro Paolo Ciardiello: "Our objective is to focus mainly on organic kiwifruit production. We want to try our hand at growing organic golden kiwifruits and would like for our orchards to cover 100 hectares over the next 2/3 years, with golden varieties making up 50% of them."
Kiwifruit production has moved to southern Italy a few years ago and Campania, the Caserta area in particular, boasts good soil and weather conditions, so much so that kiwifruits were already grown in the area in the 1970s.
"Kiwifruit orchards currently cover 20 hectares (16 destined to green kiwifruit and 4 to golden kiwifruit). 15 hectares are cultivated using organic techniques and only 5 are grown with traditional methods. We have achieved excellent quality, especially when it comes to organoleptic quality. Now we want to focus on organic golden kiwifruit, which should be rather interesting if grown in flat areas."
This is the third year Coop Sole has been growing kiwifruit. "Considering the excellent results obtained, we are convinced to continue on this path. The partnership with Apofruit was decisive and, considering the excellent market feedback, we are aiming even higher, so much so that our partners are extending the orchards destined to kiwifruit cultivation so as to increase quantities available."
Coop Sole cares about its partners, so much so that it provides technical, agronomic and financial assistance.
"In the future, we will perform tests with new green and red selections so as to widen our range and be even more competitive on the market."