"For those who do not know, Sicily is the European region where netted melons are harvested first, so it is necessary to pay attention to the origin of produce along the chain, if we want to supply distributors with a product boasting the added value of an Italian origin," explains Vincenzo Di Pasquale from Donnalia, a Sicilian premium brand.
"I am saying this because confusion often reigns in supermarket shelves, disorientating consumers during this first part of the Sicilian netted melon season. This happens because produce from abroad, e.g. from Senegal, is also available during the same period. Donnalia represents a guarantee, meaning final consumers are certain to find produce that is good to eat and of domestic origin."
"The netted melon season is peaking in the Licata area (Agrigento), which is the leading melon producer region in Italy. We already started harvesting right after Easter and organoleptic qualities were immediately very high. Now melons are even sweeter, with a Brix level of minimum 16°."
"The most popular melons over the past few years are red-fleshed ones. The ideal grade is 900 g to 1.2 kg. As for this campaign, we can say that expectations are very high considering the excellent performance in the fields. As temperatures increase, we are expecting production and consumption to pick up. Production prices currently hover between €1.50 and €2.30/kg."
"Netted melons have become very important for us. They are one of the products that are making us grow the most, especially when it comes to our Brand Identity. Prices are rather high at the moment, but they will probably start to decrease as more quantities are harvested, though forecasts remain good. We are now waiting for warmer weather to hit northern Italy to push consumption."