Above: Carmelo Denaro
We talked to Carmelo Denaro, President of Cooperativa API, to discuss the situation.
"Prices are not exceptional, quite the opposite actually. Thankfully, we are managing thanks to a variety we introduced two years ago and which is selling at €0.50/kg. This year, we found out it is particularly resistant to high temperatures. It is the SV5057 variety by Seminis, which is very sweet and stores well."
Fennel crop in Ispica (RG)
Its characteristics are much appreciated by our commercial partners as there is no cracking, rotting or over-ripening. These are very important elements especially if, for some reason, producers need to wait for better conditions in order to harvest.
In addition to fennel (10ha of open fields), Cooperativa Api has also started growing Novella di Ispica IGP carrots (500 tons). Other products are courgettes (700 ton) and watermelons (600 ton) on 40 ha of polytunnels
Above: dark green courgettes.
"We are currently harvesting courgettes, but it's not going so well. Prices were high last year as the produce had been damaged by viruses and frost. This year, production is good thanks to new anti-virus products, yet prices hover around €0.40-0.50/kg. We are hoping for them to increase at least by €0.30/kg to be able to make a profit."
API produces and commercialises summer produce, while the rest is collected by another local cooperative that is more structured and guarantees a more stable price policy.
Cooperativa Agricola API
C.da Rio Favara, sn.
97014 Ispica (RG)
Tel. +39 0932 700064