Italy: Table grape season positive

"It seemed like it was going to be an easy campaign for table grapes as we all had a good product, but it was actually very difficult as sales were slow. Consumers seem to have lost interest in grapes and we are hoping things will improve for Christmas," explains a producer from Apulia.

"This problem affected not only Italian grapes, but also other producer countries. We would like to be more optimistic, but it is already November and there is a lot of fruit that still needs to be sold. We hope consumption will increase without having to lower the prices."

"The positive performances of seedless grapes generated enough enthusiasm to invest more in seedless crops of traditional varieties. Producers seem to have understood that they need to grow what the market demands." 

The new varieties are chosen in October and there are many meetings with nursery gardens at the moment.

From Sicily, the president of the PGI Grapes from Mazzarrone Consortium Giovanni Raniolo adds that, thankfully, production areas have been spared by the bad weather of the past few days. "90% of the harvesting has been carried out and should be completed by the end of November. It is quite a positive campaign."

The volumes of PGI produce, which are very popular with retailers, have increased (+20%). The leading varieties in Sicily are Italia, Red Globe and Victoria. The seedless varieties are mainly available in June-August.

"Our main markets abroad are France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany. Many containers of Red Globe were shipped to the Arab countries and we are even working with Libya."

Author: Maria Luigia Brusco

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