Italy: Soft fruit production calendar extended

The new soft fruit campaign in Piedmont has officially started - 15 days earlier than last year thanks to the mild temperatures in April. Blackberries are expected in a few days and red currants in a couple of weeks.

Enzo Giraudo (in the photo), technician for Ortofruit Italia says that "quality is expected to be good also thanks to the fact that there was no heavy rain. Quantities of blueberries are increasing, especially since the new plants have started producing this year. Production will triple in the next three years."

"As regards raspberries, the various production areas have been subject to a diversification process. In addition, new soil-less cultivation techniques have been introduced, thus considerably extending the production calendar."

"Even though we cannot talk about a staggering increase in quantity, there still is a constant increase in the shelf-life and nutritional profile of the premium varieties."

Blackberries and red currants are also looking good. "Blackberries are getting more interesting especially thanks to the new varietal map, which aims at achieving high-quality organoleptic performances and cultivar geolocalisation. For example, the Slauzzo and Savigliano areas are dedicated to early varieties whereas the foothills are for medium-late varieties. This is done in order to extend the production calendar."

"Red currants continue being a niche product. We cannot increase quantities and therefore we are working on improving selection, storing techniques and sustainable deseasonalisation."

For further info:
Ortofruit Italia
Tel.: (+39) 0175 240305
Fax: (+39) 0175 475821
Web: www.ortofruititalia.it

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