Italy is entering the final stretch of its strawberry campaign. A year that, as in other producing areas of the Mediterranean Arc, has been marked by high temperatures. This situation has not affected the productive and commercial development of Inspire, which belongs to the varietal program of Plant Sciences and Berry Genetics, managed in southern Europe and North Africa by El Pinar.
For Silvio Paraggio, Sales Technical Manager of El Pinar Italia, Inspire has reinforced, under these climatic conditions, the confidence of farmers, who have found in it a rustic variety, adapted to the current very limited cultivation conditions in terms of disinfection of soils, and with enormous advantages for the producer and also for the market, as it is a premium variety of the highest quality.
Inspire, a combination of pot and bare root plants
Unlike what happens with other varieties, Inspire is a plant with excellent pot behavior, minimizing incidents due to high temperatures. Thus, it allows producers to plant from the end of September and start production from the second half of November, which then continues with the bare root plant. "In this way, we offer a constant and high-quality production from November to June," explains Silvio, adding that they recommend, as a productive strategy, 30% potted plants and 70% fresh plants.
More advantages for the producer
In addition to a constant production, with fruit of excellent, bright color, uniformity, and hardness, the plant's own architecture provides one of its great added values. "Thanks to an excellent elongation of the floral peduncle, the formation of the fruit is very homogeneous and very visible on the plant, which allows a more agile harvest and consequently a significant reduction in production costs," argues Silvio.
Likewise, thanks to its shelf life, this harvest can be more leisurely, as the fruit does not over-ripe, and therefore, better management of labor by farmers can be carried out, especially in the final moments of harvest of the campaign, when the personnel is scarcer.
Advantages for commercialization
Precisely its shelf life also becomes an added value for its commercialization. Although the Italian production sector has historically focused its production on domestic consumption, Inspire is making it possible to open the export of this strawberry to northern Europe. "Consumers appreciate the characteristics of Inspire, such as its quality, flavor, and color, but also marketers, for whom this variety is a sure value when it comes to displaying it on the shelves," says Silvio.
Bet on the Italian market
All these characteristics support the growth of Inspire in Italy in the last campaign, with an increase of 30% compared to the previous year. Thus, Inspire joins the EL PINAR portfolio for the Italian market, meeting all its needs: Primavera and Renewal for earliness, Victory for export, and Inspire for premium quality production.
A quantitative and qualitative growth from the varietal point of view, which is reinforced by the creation of a technical-commercial department in the area, directed by Silvio Paraggio as technical-commercial director and Alberto Molinaro as a commercial agent.
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