"Strawberries arriving these days from Basilicata are fresh, tasty and with a juicy texture. Despite the wide availability of summer fruit on the market, sales are doing well," said Raffaele Antonelli from the CAR (Rome's agri-food center). "The shelf life ranges between three and four days, if kept in the refrigerator," added Valentino Di Pisa, president of Fedagro Mercati. This is a great product, which seems to be even better now than it was 20 days ago".
"These feedbacks help us grow and motivate us to do better and better, in a period when the others have already weeded. At the moment, we are harvesting about 25 pallets a day (2,500 packages) and we will be harvesting at least until 15-20 July, thanks to our three types of plants (rooted, fresh and refrigerated) which allow us to supply strawberries for 10 months a year," explained Maria Faillace, Quality Control Manager at Zuccarella.
"During these weeks, we have organized our crops in such a way that the hot weather will not cause any problems of sunburn or poor resistance, so we have adopted some specific techniques to ensure that we still have constant daily volumes, such as nets, lime-based coverings or simply removing the roof from strawberry trees. Every day we start harvesting at 4 a.m., with the help of electric illumination, so that we can finish the working day already around 11 a.m. and avoid the hottest hours."
"Sixty percent of the daily volumes are shipped abroad, especially to Stuttgart and Nuremberg, while the remaining part is distributed in general markets and in the Italian large-scale retail trade. Prices are within the norm and vary from 2.00 to 4.00 €/kg, according to the reference market and the quality of the fruit."
The producers' organization OP Zuccarella's mission on the packaging and on the need to reduce plastic is always of high priority. "Our portfolio includes trays made of wood and compostable cardboard, which will represent 90% of the main type of packaging starting from the next campaign."
"In addition to strawberries, we are still marketing excellent quantities of local Lanelate oranges. The harvest of this cultivar will continue for another 15 days, and then we'll continue with the Navel Powell variety, with sales extended until the last ten days of July. The demand is satisfactory, as well as sale prices, which fluctuate between €1.20 and €1.70 per kilo".