"It's early May, so it is already possible to make a first assessment of the Candonga Top strawberry season, even though the campaign will not end before late May," explains Maria Ferrara, sales manager for Fe.Vi Frutta.
"Yields are currently lower than in 2021. We are talking about 350 g/plant against the 450 of a year ago. Production has peaked late due to the temperature drops and few sunny days before April. Things changed after Easter, but for the worse. Harvesting increased with a reduction in sales prices. Current quotations hover between €2.20-2.50/kg, which is significantly lower than the previous season, yet at least they are profitable."
Francesco Viggiano (wholesale manager) and Maria Ferrara (sales manager).
"We have to deal with the lack of labor as well - our partners have had to deal with considerable difficulties as hundreds of operators did not go to work for religious reasons (Ramadan and Orthodox Easter) and, with the high temperatures, the produce was overripe. For example, on May 2nd, only 20 pallets of Candonga strawberries were ready against the 60 of previous days."
"Original produce with a good quality still does well on the market. Despite the new cultivars, Candonga is still considered the top variety of Basilicata thanks to the work we carried out over the past few years. We stopped shipping the produce abroad after Easter due to the reduced shelf-life."
"Over the next few weeks, we will continue supplying Italian general markets and big retail chains even though, this year, many purchased fewer Candonga due to the significantly lower price of other varieties. The general uncertainty and lower purchasing power of families have led consumers to preferring cheaper strawberries."