At the end of October, the campaign of the Sicilian aubergines cultivated in greenhouses will start. It will come into production by mid November.
The specialised operator Nuccia Alboni explains: “In the province of Ragusa, this year, the acreage of the round aubergine transplants are stable compared to last year. At the same time, the extension of the purple aubergine is slightly decreasing, as well as the long aubergine”
According to the expert, “The transplanted surfaces for the striped aubergine are doubled. That is why it will probably have a decrease in market quotations, this year. The increase in the production involves almost all the south-western Sicily, which is historically the most important area for the farming of this variety.
Also, the surfaces for the white aubergine doubled as well, thanks to the increasing demand for niche products – an attitude that is spreading all across Italy, while for the foreign countries this variety is still to be discovered.
The white aubergine is especially demanded by gourmet restaurants or specialised fruit and vegetable retailers in Northern Italy.
Currently, the highest prices are in Turin and Verona – 1.70 euros/kg. The market in Vittoria instead, in the Ragusa province, sells the purple aubergine for 1.10 euros/kg.
The packaging is the same for each aubergine variety: they are cardboard boxes that can be as large as 30 x 50 x 15 cm or 30 x 50 x 11 cm.
The Mediterranean side of the Spanish peninsula is the major competitor for Italian products. The aubergine is not an exception – Spain is devoting big surfaces exclusively for this product.
Alboni concluded, “Germany, France, the Netherlands, Croatia and Slovenia are the markets that are interested the most in our product. However, other countries are also jumping in, such as Romania and Bulgaria”.