Whatever the degree of ripeness or period, strawberries are increasingly appreciated by domestic and international consumers. More and more companies are deciding to start cultivating them, and they are now available on the market 9 months a year.
According to the data on Spanish and Italian strawberry plants available on the market, Basilicata is the leading Italian producer for the 2018/19 campaign.
FreshPlaza interviewed Carmela Suriano, creator of Club Candonga and general manager of Planitalia, a nursery company that is a leading player in the Italian strawberry cultivation sector.
"With almost 1,000 hectares, cultivated areas have increased by 13% compared to last year. As for 2019, production in Basilicata is expected to reach 48,600 tons, 39,000 of which of the Sabrosa cultivar, generating a turnover of around €120 million for the whole segment. It's a record figure for our region, that breaks the one set in the late 1970s when there were 900 hectares. Cultivated areas then dropped to 400 ha in the early 1980s due to the arrival on the market of Spanish strawberries."
“80% of cultivars are of the Sabrosa variety. All crops feature fresh bare-root plants planted in greenhouse polytunnels in early October. Production starts in January and continues until June. Sabrosa is commercialized under the Candonga Fragola Top Quality® brand by producers part of “Club Candonga”, a consortium created in 2013 with the objective of promoting this cultivar."