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Azienda Agricola Altamore

Very low yields expected for the Sicilian canary yellow melon campaign

The Sicilian season of canary yellow melons grown in the open fields is about to start, and things are looking good. Azienda Agricola Altamore, located in Roccamena (PA) and led by Franco Altamone with his son Giuseppe is among the leading players in Western Sicily thanks to its 100 hectares. The fields are located in Mazara del Vallo (TP) for the early produce harvested from June onward and in Roccamena for the produce harvested in August. The late campaign starts in early September and ends in October in Corleone (PA).

Franco and Giuseppe Altamore.

"We manage to cover the entire calendar thanks to the fact that our crops extend from the sea to the hills. Production is satisfactory this year, even if we are having a few drought problems! In our specific case, we manage thanks to our specialized irrigation systems, however many companies nearby have not transplanted, and many others will have to deal with a 50% drop in production," report Franco and Giuseppe Altamore.

"We have opted for the Cartago variety for the early campaign and the Giorillo variety for the late campaign. We believe we can confirm the estimate of around 5000 tons, which will be commercialized on the domestic wholesale markets and big retail chains. In addition, a good 20% of the produce will be sent mainly to the German big retail chain."

"Our fruits weigh between 1.2 and 3.5 kg. The former will be destined mainly to the big retail chain, while the larger ones will go to the wholesale market. We mainly use three types of crates: 60x40x19 (6 fruits) weighing around 18 kg on average; 60x40x17 (6-7-8-9-11 fruits) with an average weight of around 16 kg; 50x30x17 (4-5-6 fruits), with an average weight of around 10 kg. This way, we meet most of the needs of the commercial sector."

The company logo features the wording "quality and tradition since 1900" and not by chance, as the company has reached its 4th generation with Giuseppe Altamore (a recent Agricultural Science graduate).

"At the moment, however, it is too early to talk about open field quotations. As for the greenhouse produce, some of it reaches €1/kg, but it does not apply to us, as we are just getting started. What we can say is that, last year, the campaign ended well with an average of €0.70/kg for the entire period."

"Sales perspectives are very positive this year because there is little produce. Some companies did not transplant due to the lack of water, while others will have very low yields. As a consequence, those who will have volumes available will manage to sell them at a good price."

To diversify its income, Azienda Altamore focuses on the production of a beer made using Canary yellow melons in order to reuse production waste.

For more information:
Azienda Agricola Altamore
Via E. Mattei 14
90040 Roccamena (PA) - Italy
+39 327 9047936
[email protected]

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