Prices are good, production has decreased in the early segment due to frost, but there are excellent requests for the next few days. This is an overview of the situation by the company Boni of Colli al Metauro (Pesaro-Urbino, Italy) which produces strawberries in The Marches, an Italian region not very famous for this cultivation.
"We are actually obtaining positive results, by selling directly, through the fruit and vegetable store we own, or at wholesale. We grow our production in protected cultivation and also in open fields, in order to obtain an extended harvest."
The low temperatures in early April caused damage to the indoor flowers, so that 30% of the earliest production was lost. "However, the harvest is now proceeding rapidly, and prices are also satisfactory, around €5 wholesale (last week's quotation, ed.). As for the varieties, we have Sandra, Romina, Asia and Alba in production, the latter in open field."
Because of its market segment, Boni consistently manages to never go below certain prices. "Strawberries are highly valued by consumers and the demand is high, because of the right degree of ripeness. The problem is not as much the selling price as it is the cost of producing them, as expenses are always increasing. I have calculated a cost incidence of over 2 €/kg in protected cultivation".
Strawberry production in this region is increasing also thanks to the activity of the Le Marche Polytechnic University. A project named ‘Innovative solutions to extend the production and ripening calendar of strawberry and small fruits in the Marche region' has been active for a couple of years now.
"Strawberry cultivation in The Marche region has developed mainly in the coastal and piedmont area in the provinces of Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Ancona and Pesaro Urbino. Companies are not, on average, as specialized as those in other areas of Italy, but they are growing. Most of them cultivate in open fields and some of them also grow in off-field and in protected cultivation," said Professor Bruno Mezzetti.
For more information:
Az. Agricola Boni