The 2021 season of Italian goji berries under the zero-residue brand Lome Super Fruit has just started and will continue until the first ten days of September. "We are now harvesting the first goji berries and the yield per day is about 300 kilos. The quantities will increase in the coming weeks," said Dario De Lisi of Masseria Fruttirossi.
Dario De Lisi
The goji berries are marketed both fresh (in 80 g packages) and dried (40 and 125 g). There is no shortage of product, but it is necessary to provide the supermarket shelves with Italian products, avoiding drawing from the Asian market, where there is an abuse of the use of chemicals.
"This is why we have to face the skepticism of Italian buyers towards this kind of superfood," he said. The goji berry is a beautiful fruit that offers extraordinary health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamins and particularly suitable for people who are on diets.
Cultivation of goji berries at Masseria Fruttirossi
"Probably the low interest of the Italian retail sector in goji berries is due to the not very reassuring news about foreign cultivation. However, thanks to our e-commerce platform, we can say that the consumers' interest in this fruit is very high, even if it is difficult to find."
The international scenario is different.
"The first shipments are leaving for some European countries, especially Germany. Since this is a berry that does not have a long shelf life, we have to focus on markets that are not only logistically accessible, but that are also interested in the fresh crop and that are habitual consumers," continued De Lisi.
The goji is a rustic plant, which does not need special treatments or agronomic attention. Masseria Fruttirossi has planted a total of 13 hectares, most of which are in their second year of production.
"The plant grows very quickly and seems to have found its ideal habitat in Apulia. Harvesting is carried out carefully and manually. The problem of labor shortage is also an issue for this crop, as the goji berries have to be harvested daily and quickly. It is difficult to find other workers, also because farmers are busy with other crops over the same time span."