"Peach cultivation goes back a long way in the Verona area, but orchards have halved over the past 10 years. This season, remuneration per grade seems to be the best it has been in the last 10 years, so we are starting from here to relaunch peaches and nectarines from Verona," reports Leonardo Odorizzi, operator part of the La Grande Bellezza Italiana business network.
Big Bang nectarines from Verona
"The new specification for Pesca di Verona Igp drawn up in collaboration with the various associations will come out soon and, as of 2023, we count on certifying the first varieties for the market. After a break that lasted a few years, we will focus on re-creating a consortium by 2024 to protect and promote our peaches and nectarines, otherwise we will lose the PGI mark granted by the European Union."
The 2021 report by Veneto Agricoltura confirms the constant drop of peach orchards in the Veneto, considering that the total areas have decreased to 1,669 hectares (-4.7% compared to 2020), combined with a 5.6% decrease in the areas already in production (1,628 hectares). Most of the orchards (84%) are located in the Verona province (1,371 hectares, -5.9%). Over the last 10 years, Verona has lost half of its orchards, considering it boasted 2,736 of hectares in 2011. This considerable drop is due to unsatisfactory prices and fiercer foreign competition.
"In 2018, in collaboration with the municipal administration, we started talking about peaches from Verona again, trying to find a way to restore the value of this fruit. La Grande Bellezza Italiana boasts a range of PGI products that includes Radicchio di Verona IGP, Mela Rossa Cuneo IGP, Limone di Rocca Imperiale IGP, Clementino di Taranto IGP, Cipolla Binaca di Margherita IGP. The market is now ready for pesca di Verona IGP and there are numerous big retail chains that dedicate sections to these special products, for which the mark acts as a guarantee for consumers," continues Odorizzi (in the photo).
"We need to relaunch this crop now, taking advantage of the difficulties of foreign competitors who are now dealing with the same agronomic and cost problems we have been experiencing. We need to restore the importance of this segment, creating a sense of belonging and tradition to attract the younger generations."