Italy: New pear season begins at Fruit Modena Group

Italian pear season 2012/13 has just begun. Giuseppe Scarfone, export manager at Fruit Modena Group (FMG) says: "Last season was a dramatic one, with the lowest sell prices in the last 20 years. So we are facing this one with some doubts. A recent earthquake, moreover, has damaged one of the most suitable area for the production of pears in the area of Modena (Italy). However, there are also some good news and we hope to see more positiveresults this year".

Varieties, quantity and quality
Fruit Modena Group has got three industrial plants, 100,000 square metres of greenhouses and 80,000 MT of annual yield (70,000 of those are pears). The group collect the production of 521 farmers who cultivate 2,500 hectares of ground. In one word: Fruit Modena Group is the largest cooperative for the production and sale of pears in Europe.

Abate Fetel.

A 40% of the total production of FMG pears is made up of Abate Fetel, 28% of Williams, 12.5% of Conference, 6.9% of Decana. Red Williams, A. Kaiser, S. Maria, Packham’s and, for just 1,3% of the production, others varieties.

In the fruit range of FMG there are also 2,000 MT of (red, yellow and green) apples, 700 MT of plums and 5,000 MT of processing tomatoes. Apart from Italy, the company is also well-known in Germany, France, England, Russia, Switzerland, Libya, Scandinavia, Czech Republic, Malta, Canada and Asia.

Red Williams.

"We get to this crucial period of the season after a favourable spring, with regular rain and suitable temperatures", Scarfone adds. "The only flaws, some quite early frosts and two hailstorms in April that now influenced negatively on the quality of some batches, mainly those with most smooth peels like Williams and Decana”.

"In the last few weeks, on the other hand, there were bad weather conditions. High temperatures, both in day and at night, together with drought, have damaged the growth of the fruits. This affects above all early varieties like Morettini, Guyot and Coscia, but it is also worrying for the development of other later varieties such as Santa Maria and Williams. If these weather conditions did not get normal soon, production would be medium or small and it could affect other varieties as well".

Santa Maria.

Quantity, production 2012/13, first opinion about the trading season
"Even though it is too early to talk about volumes - Giuseppe Scarfone explains - today we can estimate a production in line with the last five years' average. We expect a drop by 20% in comparison with the last year but a 15% rise considering the exceptionally low-producing season 2010".

FMG production estimate for the season 2012-2013
VarieTYFMG estimate 2012/13 (MT)
Abate Fetel26.000
Green Williams18.000
Decana Del Comizio4.500
Williams Rosso2.500
A. Kaiser2.500
S. Maria1.800

"Apart from a possible fall in yield and some hailstorm signs on the fruits, there are not any other main problems about quantity", Giuseppe Scarfone continues

"At the moment, it is not possible to estimate a commercial trend for the new Italian pears nor talk about prices that may be analysed next September when the harvest of all varieties will end. Perhaps prices might be higher because also a production drop is expected in countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal”.

But no illusions. The economic situation is very difficult and the consumption of fruit and vegetables recorded a drop by 20% in the last 11 years.

FMG Business strategy 2012/13
FMG and other main companies of the sector decided to finance a new research together with the Dutch company Nsure for the study of genetic correlation bound to the post harvest diseases.

With regard to the last earthquake (see previous article) FMG is helping the nearby cooperative ITAL-FRUTTA to manage 13,000 MT of pears since the latter company was damaged by the earthquake and cannot use its own plants (see previous article).

FMG has also taken part to the regional propose of a fair trade brand: 10% of the income will be given to the people damaged by the earthquake.

FMG is also to be found in Tacler (

Giuseppe Scarfone - Export manager
Fruit Modena Group SCA
Via Torazzo, 2/G
41030 Sorbara Bomporto (MO)
Phone: +39 059 907841
Fax: +39 059 907810
Mob.: +39 339 3659859

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