The harvest and marketing of melons and watermelons of the Italian brand Orto di Eleonora is coming to an end. However, even in these last days of August, the market demand remains high.
"It has been a great season in terms of yields and sales. The harvest started early, in the last days of May, and sales immediately generated satisfactory results. In the following months, too, everything continued to go smoothly," said Salvatore Lotta (pictured here), commercial director of OP Agricola Campidanese, the Sardinian growers' organization that owns the brand.
"The high temperatures have contributed significantly to making this one of the best seasons in recent years for the association. However, expectations were not high due to the macroeconomic and geopolitical situation. Due to the warm weather, consumption increased significantly and prices for watermelon increased by 70% and for cantaloupe by 35-40% compared to last year. With this price level, growers and trading companies could breathe a sigh of relief and cope with the increase in costs of diesel, packaging and fertilizers, among others."
"We have about 85% of the season behind us," continued Lotta. "We will continue as planned until mid-September. European supermarket chains, such as those in Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium, are also continuing to place orders, even if the weather is currently a bit less. Some products, such as the traditional mini watermelons, are running out, while Eleonora, Gavina and Majores are this summer's protagonists."
"Watermelon has been doing slightly better than melon since the beginning of the season, because for melon there were still some obstacles in terms of marketing. Despite lower yields per acre, the quality of the fruit was (and is) exceptional in terms of size, sweetness, color and texture."
"In any case, the decline in consumption due to inflation was less evident in watermelon and cantaloupe sales compared to other fruits and vegetables. Indeed, supplies from Europe were generally lower this year. Spain in particular brought less product to market."
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