After three years in which Agricola Guidi started harvesting apricots at the same time as producers from the south, this year it is one week early. "It is incredible, considering that we are talking about the same variety. Of course we are talking in both cases about varieties harvested at the right ripening level, about high-quality premium ranges. This means we need to rethink our commercial strategies: we though we came second, but some of our varieties are actually ready first. This is true for the hills between Cesena and Rimini," explains owner Roberto Guidi.
According to Guidi, this is due to the weather i.e. to climate change. "It has been very cold in the south in spring, while it was warmer than usual for us. Then we also need to consider the agronomic techniques employed."
Umberto Benvenuti, Roberto Guidi, Gianmarco Benvenuti
Agricola Guidi is known in the world of apricots for its Albisole and Rubisole brands. It boasts almost 400 hectares and it is one of the leading private companies on a European level. "We have almost 200 hectares on the hilly areas of Roncofreddo, Borghi, Sogliano and Longiano (Forlì-Cesena). All orchards have their own irrigation systems thanks to ponds that accumulate water."
The harvesting of the best varieties is peaking, as confirmed by Gianmarco and Umberto Benvenuti, Guidi's nephews working for the family business.
"The Zero Residue technique is giving us great satisfaction, as we introduced this technique years ago and we are now quite experienced with it. Thanks to the anti-hail, anti-rain and anti-insect nets, we manage to keep treatments to a minimum," explain Gianmarco and Umberto. "We consider Zero Residue safe, modern and sustainable under all points of view, and it is also the most cost-effective for both producers and final consumers," adds Roberto Guidi.
Protection with nets
The production of red apricots is in full swing, while a drop in production of 25-30% is expected for yellow ones due to the frost. "Recently, a hailstorm hit our orchards on the plain, but we managed to save everything thanks to nets."
The warehouse extension
July and August are the two most important months for Guidi, followed by June and September. The processing facility has recently been extended to store up to 4000 tons.
"We are increasingly active abroad, especially in northern Europe thanks to the collaboration with Apofruit's Mediterraneo Group. We work together while maintaining our independence."