The strawberry is increasingly present on the market in the winter months. From December until January and February, strawberry productions are available to European consumers in all their naturalness. They are among the fruits that in recent years have experienced the greatest innovations in terms of genetic and technological improvement.
The winter productions are simply obtained from fresh rooted-topped plants planted at the end of the summer in the countries of southern Italy such as Sicily, Basilicata or Campania. The particular nursery technique of the fresh rooted top plant, associated with a specific varietal selection, has made it possible to expand winter production by transforming, in a short time, the strawberry into a product present for 12 months a year on the European market.
These winter fruits, thanks to a particular selection of varieties suitable for this period of production, are very sweet and aromatic and contain all the nutritional properties that make the strawberry a superfood with a high health power.
In the last year, the strawberry in Italy has experienced an important increase in terms of cultivated areas, thanks to the investments that have mainly involved Basilicata, in the Metapontino (+ 20%, source CSO Italy), in Campania (+6 %) between Casertano and Piana del Sele, and Sicily (+ 4%), all of southern Italy alone represents the cradle of the cultivation of homegrown strawberries, harvesting over 66% of production.
Pietro Ciardiello, Director of Coop Sole, one of the supporting members of the Fruvenh project, takes stock of strawberry production in the 2022 campaign. "We are about to reach full production”, declares Pietro Ciardiello, “which is expected in February, slightly delayed compared to last year due to the unfavorable weather conditions that delayed the plants at the end of the summer.”
“Coop Sole offers an excellent quality thanks to the careful selection of the varieties and our attention to cultivation techniques. We will have an increasing supply of organic strawberries, zero-residue strawberries and we are implementing, with excellent results, the pre-planting solarization technique which avoids the use of synthetic chemicals and increases the presence of organic matter in the soil. Overall, in 2022 we will have a growth of 6% in the area invested in strawberries and will predictably lead to an increase in sales volumes that are not yet quantifiable.”
“The winter production of strawberries, thanks to varietal and technological innovation, allows water savings in the plants and reaches optimal quality levels. The strawberry”, concludes Ciardiello, “unlike what is thought, is a perennial plant with winter growth. It requires, to bear fruit, a certain number of days at a low temperature and scientific research has given us the opportunity to grow it throughout the year with success and consumer interest."
In Europe, about 1.2 million tons are consumed per year with a penetration index among European citizens of 93%. The European average per capita consumption is 1.6 KG, according to Freshfel calculations.
Strawberries are among the products in focus for the AOP Gruppo Vi.Va. Fruit & Veg Natural Health! project, funded by the European Union which involves Almaverde Bio, Apofruit, CodmaOp, Coop Sole La Mongolfiera, Ortoromi, PempaCorer, Solarelli, OP Terre di Bari to promote the consumption and benefits of a diet based on fruit and vegetables highlighting the nutritional and health characteristics of a basket of products rich in beneficial nutritional principles in Italy, the Netherlands and Romania.
For more information: