The Basilicata region, in Southern Italy, is renowned for strawberry farming. Recently, raspberry farming represented an excellent idea not only from an agronomic standpoint but also in terms of business. FreshPlaza interviewed Carmela Surian, CEO of Compagnia Delle Primizie – a company famous for raspberry and strawberry production.
“A good part of the coastal area has recently started the farming and the marketing of this very profitable red berry: the raspberry. The club cultivar is produced by the Compagnia Delle Primizie and it is the Adelita. This is a re-flowering variety developed by a Spanish breeder and we hold its license. The production is carried out through greenhouse tunnels and highly specialised farming techniques. All of this within an ideal environment, from November to June”.
The fruits have a conical shape and are middle-sized (10-12 gr). The companies plan the productions during the months of June and July. “The 2017 campaign was very satisfying and the one ahead already looks very promising. We can say this because of the recent climatic conditions which are excellent for raspberries – although devastating for other types of crops.
In the past, the market was convinced that all the raspberries came from Spain, Morocco and Southern America. Therefore, this produce arrived in Italian supermarkets already half spoiled. Today, national supplies can satisfy the demand in very short times – the shipments occur starting from the twelfth hour after the harvesting.
Suriano explains, “The surfaces utilised are the same as last year – with the exception of other 5 hectares for our partner (the Mediterraneo Group). Every plant produces almost 1.5 kg, with a total production of 22,500 kg per hectare. We are expecting a peak in the production coming in the next days. Every plant will thus produce even 100 gr raspberries per week.
“This produce is shipped in every Italian market and MMR’s sales channel – especially in Lombardia, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and sometimes we also ship it to some foreign retailers. This produce is renowned to experience oscillating prices (14-18 euros/kg), which during the Christmas period can reach 25 euros/kg”.
The raspberries are packaged in 125 gr baskets. They are marketed with the Happy Berry brand, which has sold over 6 tons of berries in the main national markets. The producers who rely on the availability of this kind of produce are able not only to expand their catalogues but also to have more income opportunities.
Compagnia delle Primizie
Tel.: (+39) 0835 902017