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Plant material: soon the former USSR countries will be independent

At Interpoma, the fair dedicated to apples, we talked to Silvia Salvi, owner of Salvi Vivai, specialising in the production strawberry plants as well as apple, pear and cherry trees. It was the perfect occasion to make an assessment on how the fruit tree sector is evolving both in Italy and abroad.

Apples - the red ones are the most popular
"We sold a lot abroad this year, rather than in Italy. The global trend leans towards red apples at the moment. The Russian market, for example, is interested in the Gala, Red Delicious and Fuji varieties."

"There is still a lot of demand for Gala, especially because it grows well in all areas, unlike Fuji, which has a few alternation problems and it does not develop a good colour in some areas." So much so that some Fuji clones were presented at Interpoma to avoid these problems.

Silvia Salvi, owner of Salvi Vivai, at Interpoma 2016.

Jeromine is also a red variety. "It has a deep colour and is very popular in Piedmont."

For what concerns exports, part of the demand came from former USSR countries such as Kazakhstan and Ukraine. "We are talking about big companies that are capable of investing on over one thousand hectares in just a few years. Countries like Serbia and Moldova are also growing a lot." The Russian ban opened a market for them, and they started investing a lot. "They are slowly becoming independent, even from a nursery point of view."

Cherries - the younger brother
Together with apple trees, cherry trees are also very popular at Salvi Vivai. If we exclude Greece, the most important foreign markets are Serbia, Moldova and former USSR countries like Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Notice anything in particular? Yes, they are the same ones as those for apple trees. "They are also investing on cherry trees as productions do not overlap and trees can be planted in the same areas."

The Salvi Vivai stand during the latest edition of Interpoma.

Cherry trees are also doing well in Italy. "Sales have increased. We are focusing mostly on the Sweet® varieties, which are very popular both here and abroad as they produce big cherries with a deep colour."

Strawberries - to each their own
Salvi Vivai produces 120 million strawberry plants a year. In the past few weeks, it started selling the fresh plants cultivated at its Polish branch, while the commercialisation of those in Italy will start soon. 

"Greece and Spain grow mainly the Cimarosa* variety, which they produce for the Russian market. In southern Italy, the most popular are instead Flavia* and Flaminia*, which are productive and have a good shelf-life."

Strawberry palants at Salvi Vivai. (Archive photo)

"We started with tray and mini-tray plants one month ago. They require a particular processing and, once ready, will be commercialised towards summer in France, Belgium and the Netherlands for glass greenhouses. Plants start producing 40 days after being transplanted and produce all summer."

The strawberries most commercialised by Salvi Vivai are Clery*, Aprica*, Sevilla*, Primy* and Murano*. The latter is a remontant variety which is very popular in France and Holland. "In this segment, the trend is going towards protected cultivation, as there are less diseases, harvesting is earlier and lasts longer." 
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