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Italy: Top Melon reveals the way to get out of the crisis

"It's no news that the 2014 campaign was characterised by awful weather, which penalised Northern Italy a lot. In Central Italy, the season wasn't brilliant but a good organisation and the professionalism of our agronomist, Mr. Ademo Lumaccioni, meant we were able to avoid losses," explains Giorgio Spinetti, owner together with brother Gianni of Top Melon.

Left to right, agronomist Adelmo Lumaccioni, Gianni and Giorgio Spinetti from Top Melon.

"After a slow start due to the weather, the scarce produce available made prices rise by 40-50%." 

Netted melons ready for processing.

Established in Umbria in 1995, Top Melon currently covers 250 hectares of melon crops producing 12,000 tonnes of produce with a turnover of €8 million.

"We start at the beginning of April with early produce from Tunisia, followed by that from Sicily and Lazio and, between June and October, with that from Umbria. This way, our melons are available until Christmas."

Processing lines.

"We work with the most important seed companies to screen new varieties. There are always new and improved varieties available, but I think we will never reach a perfect fruit. The only way to make a difference will be an improved management of the chain."

The fruit, packaged in the facility inaugurated in 2009 and equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, is sold under the Grifone Linea Oro, Top Melon Platinum and La strada dei sapori brands. 

"90% of the production is destined to the domestic market (both retailers and wholesale markets all over Italy). The remaining 10% is shipped to retailers mainly in Switzerland, but we are planning on increasing the percentage of produce sold abroad."

"The difficult period we are facing has taught us that fruit is no longer a primary purchase, but we must stress how the drop in consumption is also due to people being more careful about wasting food. In any case, Italian melon producers must improve in terms of organisation and size."

Left to right Marco, Gianni, Giorgio and Chiara Spinetti. Marco and Chiara are Giorgio's children.

Top Melon
Voc. Caselle, 286/A
06059 Pantalla di Todi (PG) - Italy
Tel.: (+39) 075 888712
Fax: (+39) 075 8741669

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