Year-round eggplants from Sicilian specialists

The Melanzì brand was launched in 2016, originally for a line of products that included jams, competes, and other canned fruit and vegetable products. However, in 2020, the founders of the Sicilian cooperative Ortonatura reverted back to their early business years, over 30 years ago now, with the commercialization of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the greenhouse on a total area of 30 hectares. The main product is eggplant, available in many varieties: round, long, purple, graffiti, and white. 

"Cultivation takes place exclusively in Sicily, but the product is sold throughout Italy and also abroad, both in retail and wholesale markets," says Fabio Alessandrello, president of the cooperative and founder of the Melanzì brand. "We can supply our products almost year-round, not only eggplants, but also tomatoes, courgettes, and peppers of the main varieties such as Sweet Palermo®. And we have also been commercializing avocados and blueberries for some time now, which we source from Sicilian growers with whom we have a long-standing partnership and in whom we place the utmost trust."

"At the beginning of October, the eggplant season started with prices of €1.00 per kilo. Then, in November and part of December, heat affected the flowering, causing the supply to shrink and increase growers' prices. From December through February, we even saw prices as high as €3.00 for round and long eggplants, €3.50 for purple, and €2.60 for graffiti eggplants. With the arrival of spring and the rise in temperatures, as usual at this time of year, prices have begun to drop. We are now waiting for the Easter vacations and the increase in consumption. Then prices will temporarily pick up again, after which they will start another downturn."

Looking to what the future holds, Alessandrello said they plan to keep high standards of crop sustainability. "To this end, we have developed a series of processes that always guarantee the highest levels of food safety and residue standards required by Italian supermarket chains. Our region is ideal for growing greenhouse crops, thanks to very favorable soil and climate conditions. This makes our work easier. We have to make a little extra effort to obtain top productions. Another aspect of which we take great care is the promotion of our brand. For example, we will be present at Macfrut 2023. The fair will take place on 3, 4, and 5 May in Rimini, where we would like to welcome everyone at Booth 044 in Pavilion B3."

For more information:
Coop. Ortonatura Srl
Via magenta 484
97019 Vittoria (RG) IT
Tel.: +39 3351310729

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