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Italy: Everything ready for kiwi harvesting Apofruit

"We are expecting to produce around 600 tons of golden kiwis - 150 tons of Hort16A (Zespri Gold) and 450 of G3 (SunGold). We should also produce around 17,500 tons of green Hayward kiwis," explains Flavio Mancini, managing director of Apofruit.

Flavio Mancini.

"We can say that there is a slight decrease in production this year due to the weather, but quality is definitely higher thanks to the dry matter content. We are confident we can obtain increasingly better results in the future."

"This year, harvesting will start 7/10 days late, due to the high temperatures that have been registered lately."

Expectations are definitely good - harvesting is over in New Zealand and Chile stopped exporting one month early, this means there should be no competition.

The main export market is Europe although interest from overseas markets such as North America, Canada, Brazil and Asia is increasing.

Left to right: Andrea Campoli (Apofruit partner) and Flavio Mancini.

Currently, Aprofruit is focusing on a new variety of golden kiwis: G3 (SunGold) kiwis will in fact substitute the Hort16A (Zespri Gold) variety almost entirely by 2017.

Around 1,200 ha all over Italy are being converted, 80% of which in the Latina province.

3,000 tons are expected to be produced in 2015, followed by 10,000 in 2016. All crops should start producing between 2016 and 2017.

"We decided for this variety first of all because golden kiwis are the most popular on the market. Then we must say that G3 has a particularly excellent taste and, at the same time, it is more tolerant to Psa."

Regarding Psa, the company explains that "to deal with it, we are treating the produce directly and nourishing plants based on the type of soil."

"We do this by establishing a different fertilization plan for each crop, which makes trees much more resistant to bacteriosis. We are now living with the bacteria and managing the problem," explained Fabio Marocchi, technical office manager.

Around 400 local producers are part of Apofruit, covering around 1,000 ha in total, 80 of which are reserved for organic production.

Apofruit also has a 14,000 sq m warehouse, which was recently extended to deal with the production of the G3 variety.

The cold storage units can store up to 9,000 tons and the facility is also equipped with 15 lines of netting and packaging machines. The plant is also suitable to grade and store the fruit.

The Consortium to safeguard the PGI mark was created to protect the "Kiwi Latina" brand.

"We must work to reinstate the Consortium to safeguard kiwis. We must fight against the lack of regulations and safeguard kiwis from anything that might compromise the brand and its image in Italy and worldwide," explained Giovanni Maddaloni, manager of U.M.A. and coordinator of the Inter-municipality kiwi and pomegranate observatory.

For further info:
Apofruit Italia Soc. Coop. Agricola
Stabilimento di Aprilia
Via Guardapasso snc
Tel.: (+39) 06 9282608
Fax: (+39) 06 9282609

Osservatorio intercomunale kiwi e Melograno:
Giovanni Maddaloni
Email: [email protected]