The Sicilian stone fruit production is notoriously late compared with other areas. The extremely favorable climate allows harvesting until October, thanks to the late characteristics of some varieties and the agronomic techniques developed by the island's farmers. We talked about this with Vincenzo Di Pasquale who, together with his brother Angelo, runs the renowned Donnalia brand.
Vincenzo Di Pasquale
“The peach and nectarine season started at the beginning of July and we are still in the middle of the campaign, which will end at the end of September/beginning of October, or as long as we have fresh produce on the trees. The advantage of marketing peaches and nectarines in this season is that there is less competition from northern Italy. Of course, there is competition from Spain, but it's a product of exceptional with the guarantee of Italian cultivation and sustainability. The latter is now an essential element for the final consumer,” said Di Pasquale.
Two abundant months are enough to draw up a summary of the season.
"There is no doubt that we can assess the situation positively, with an increase in volumes of about 15%, while prices are approximately in line with last year. We recorded an excellent response from the large-scale retail trade that continues to show strong interest, especially with regard to the most representative Italian brands. The Donnalia brand is now widely recognized and our customers are willing to spend a little bit more for a high-quality product. We are able to guarantee a reference with organoleptic characteristics that remain unaltered over time. Our stone fruits are aesthetically impeccable, but above all very good to eat,” revealed Di Pasquale.
"In the last years the Sicilian late peach is having a key role in the Italian peach-growing sector- said the expert - and the consumer, especially the Italian one, demanding and shrewd, does not want to do without eating and tasting a fresh product that in only 48 hours passes from the plant to the consumer."
These fruits are beautiful to see and good to eat; this is a perfect axiom that, however, must be communicated in a way that highlights them as a superior product on the fruit and vegetable counters.
"The '4-fruit medallion' package is yielding good results because consumers recognize the aesthetic value and environmental sustainability of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified cardboard packaging. This label identifies products from forest management that is environmentally sound,” explained Vincenzo Di Pasquale.