The Altamura producer organization welcomes Azienda agricola Unifruit Condoluci 1960 into its 'family'. The company is located in Metaponto (Basilicata) and specializes in the production of melons, strawberries, citrus fruit and vegetables.
The strawberries of Unifruit Condoluci 1960, led by Angelo Condoluci. (Photo supplied by Op Altamura)
President Alfonso Altamura reports that "when Op Altamura was set up, the objective was to strengthen our core business focused on baby leaves and gather the most innovative and efficient Italian agricultural businesses. We are therefore glad to welcome a company such as Unifruit Condoluci 1960, which stands out due to its capability of producing high-quality products while respecting the regulations and surrounding environment."
All members are selected based on their affinity with the values of the project such as the strive for innovation, attention to quality, respect of production standards and care for eco-sustainability. "With this new company, we add an additional 250 hectares to our production area."
Overview of the 250 hectares of Unifruit Condoluci 1960 (Photo supplied by Op Altamura)
At the moment, Op Altamura gathers 25 companies. "From a strategic point of view, an increase in the number of members does not imply a change in commercialization dynamics and in our markets. It means extending the range of products satisfying the markets that request them. All products are sold by the PO and can be commercialized using the brands of the various companies or with our brand. We might create specific lines in the future, but it is not our priority at the moment."
Angelo Condoluci (Photo supplied by Op Altamura)
Azienda agricola Unifruit Condoluci 1960 grows Canary yellow melons under the Rillo brand (registered this year) and other products such as strawberries, citrus fruit and vegetables on 250 hectares (150 of which dedicated to Canary yellow melons). All products are in high demand on the international markets as well as in Italy.
"Becoming part of Op Altamura is a source of pride for us. Our products have been available on the market for some time, but we have specialized in the production of Canary yellow melons only over the last 5-6 years. When I set up my company in 2006, I was pushed by the desire to pursue a style of agriculture that combined the promotion of local products and the implementation of state-of-the-art techniques. Everything while safeguarding the environment and its balance. We now enjoy the fruits of a choice that has proved winning."
Harvesting of Rillo Canary yellow melons (Photo supplied by Op Altamura)
"In addition, being part of the PO allows us to increase our export opportunities, which represents a great advantage for us. This year, more than in the past, foreign countries have appreciated our melons, especially Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. We are hoping to widen our destinations through the PO," stresses sales manager Valentina Matera
The company is also the pioneer in its region when it comes to the cultivation of baby leaves, also thanks to the support of the PO. "It is still the beginning and the produce is grown in a greenhouse in limited quantities. We are the first company in our area to grow this product, which cannot but be a positive thing."
Rillo-branded Canary yellow melons (Photo supplied by Op Altamura)
As regards the current situation, Valentina Matera stresses how prices are now linked with events that change day after day. "Our Canary yellow melons have a long shelf-life and are available between May and late October. Had there not been general cost increases, the campaign would have been excellent, especially since sales are lively. However things will be similar to last year, especially due to the daily increases in costs. Compensation, if we can call it that, is mainly due to the agreements signed in advance with the big retail chain platforms."