Great aroma plus intense taste and flavor are what make strawberries a high selling product in the most demanding countries. This is why research is focusing on these characteristics.
This was also confirmed by the president of Crea, Carlo Gaudio, that during the Strawberry Symposium. A new variety that features these organoleptic qualities is CRAPO 135, a medium late variety that ripens 7-8 days later than Garda variety grown in the Verona area, therefore suitable for colder areas. The plants have a high vigor and medium-high productivity both in autumn and in spring. The flesh of the fruit is quite firm, very sweet and aromatic, with a scent that recalls the wild strawberry.
It is characterized by a strong aroma and a high hardness, which are notoriously difficult traits to combine. The selection line has been able to achieve these characteristics and Crea is obtaining new genetic material with a strong aroma and good fruit characteristics in terms of pulp firmness and shelf life.
With regard to national production, the latest data for 2021 indicate an area of 3,900 hectares dedicated to specialized crops, and an increase of 9% compared to last year (3,640 hectares). This estimate considers both greenhouses and open field investments (CSO Italy). The geographical distribution sees an increase in southern Italy from 2,000 to 2,500 hectares in the last 10 years, representing about 65% of the total cultivated area. This contrasts with northern Italy, which has dropped from 1,100 to 900 hectares over the same period.
According to ISTAT data, strawberries cultivated in greenhouses in 2019 amounted to 94,247 tons. Since 2000, the total strawberry production in Italy has decreased. During this time, two trends may be observed. The production in greenhouses has grown on average since the beginning of the millennium, while that in the open field has recorded a sharp decrease in the early 2000s, with a fairly constant yield reduction.