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Italy: Strawberry cultivation in Europe – current varieties and new selections

Italy: Strawberry cultivation in Europe – current varieties and new selections

A technical meeting was held on the importance of strawberry cultivation in Europe and on new interesting varieties for the domestic and European market on 18th June 2013 at the CReSo (Centro Ricerche per la Frutticoltura) located in Boves (Piedmont).


The event was organised by Cristiano Carli and Roberto Giordano, research managers from Creso. Roberto Giordano and Dr. Walther Faedi from Folrì’s CRA-FRF have talked about the strong and weak points of each of the varieties that are cultivated and available on the market.


Walther Faedi, national coordinator of the ‘Liste varietali dei Fruttiferi’ project, listed the main characteristics and tendencies in the main countries that produce strawberries i.e. Turkey, Spain, Poland, Germany, Italy, England, Holland and Netherlands.


Some of the data:

TURKEY Increase of cultivated surfaces but there are a few problems as regards distribution because of the difficulties in transportation. The production period is very long, from December to June.
SPAIN Decrease in surface areas but increase of production. Long production period, from December to June. Camarosa is the most popular variety even though Candonga is also gaining a following thanks to its organoleptic qualities.
POLAND The technique is being specialised and competitive producer cooperatives are being created. The production is mainly destined to the fresh market, leaving only a small part to the industry. Labour costs are really low: €2.5/h.
GERMANY Open field crops are the most popular. Expanded in the past few years, pressurising markets and lowering prices. Strong competitor for Italy. Elsanta and Clery are the main varieties. Remontat cultivars are increasing.
ITALY
In 2012, there were 3700 hectares of strawberry crops (-20% with respect to 2000), 40% of which in the North (Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Trentino and Piedmont). The Italian production can satisfy the demand coming from the domestic market the whole year round. Produce from Sicily and Calabria arrives on the markets from January to March, that from Campania and Basilicata from April/May and overlaps with that from the North (Verona and Emilia Romagna. Summer is covered by the mountain areas and Sicily covers late autumn.


Dr. Faedi then explained the new varieties in the different Italian regions: “In the South, a number of different varieties is being evaluated, such as for example Rania, Nabila, Pircinque and Kamila from Italy, Sabrina, Fuentepina, Antilla and Primoris from Spain and Splendor, Florida-Fortuna, Mojave and Benicia from America. In the North, Italian Cristina, Romina, Garda, Alina, Dely and Joly are being considered.”


Finally, DR. Faedi analysed some varieties more in detail, such as VR177.2, as the fruit represent a good compromise between weight, compactness, Brix level (sugar content), aroma and shelf-life.



Click here to enlarge the chart.

Dr. Roberto Lombardo also talked about the varieties and the selections currently being experimented at the CreSo. Primy (medium-early), Garda (medium-early), Joly (medium-late) and Laetitia (late) were the varieties included in the extensive experimentation under the 2013 Fragola Unifera programme.

Dr. Lombardo explained how, “Garda has a good productivity, the fruit is cuneiform, with a good weight, the flesh is compact and tastes good, it is important though to verify the colour. Primy has a good productivity, with a good weight; fruits are conical with a flat tip and the colour is deep red, which must be checked with high temperatures; the taste is balanced though the resistance of fruits to handling has to be analysed. Joly has an excellent sweet and aromatic taste, the colour is bright red, which turns to deep red with high temperatures, the flesh is quite compact, the productivity is average and it is easily detachable. Laetitia is conical, with good weight, it resists to handling, the colour is bright red and the taste is good and sweet.”

Once the presentation was over, it was possible to taste the different varieties of strawberries, both those registered and those experimented.

Publication date: 6/25/2013



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The new Tasteful Selections facility in Bakersfield is expected to open around the end of November, just in time to handle the holiday rush and increased volume. The 200,000-square-foot facility is completely dedicated to grading and packaging Tasteful Selections specialty potatoes. Not only will the new facility increase production capacity from eight packaging lines to 12, but it will double the capacity for washing potatoes.

Additionally, the new facility will have more shipping docks and improved refrigeration and storage using European-style storage bins. Water processes have also been redesigned so that all water used in the facility is reused either for washing more potatoes or is applied to nearby farmland.

“The brand new facility will help us give our customers and consumers the best possible experience with our potatoes,” said Russell Wysocki, president and chief executive officer of RPE. “With the added production area, we’re ready to help customers meet whatever consumer demand for specialty potatoes there is.”

The new, fully automated Tasteful Selections facility will improve workflow, as well as the overall quality and shelf life of potatoes for customers, which will ultimately create a better experience for consumers, according to the company press release.

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The newest addition to the Tasteful Selections line, organic baby potatoes, will be officially unveiled in the New Product Showcase at PMA Fresh Summit, Oct. 17-19 in Anaheim, CA.

Tasteful Selections LLC is a joint venture of RPE, CSS Farms and Plover River Farms Alliance Inc. It is a vertically integrated grower, shipper and marketer of premium specialty potatoes.

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