Posted on

Francescon increases production of smooth melon and black pearl watermelon

Francescon increases production of smooth melon and black pearl watermelon

 

Francescon’s melon calendar runs from February to October, starting with its Senegalese production. “From the end of February to the end of April we will market our netted Cantaloupe melons that we produce in Senegal for a total of 170 containers. They are always accompanied in Senegal by volumes of Perla Nera, our seedless watermelon of the Fashion variety. In May, we will start our production in Sicily with netted melon and Perla Nera watermelon. Then, from June to the end of September, the Po Valley takes over, with a further 1,000 hectares of melon. Cantaloupe production remains stable, while smooth melon and Perla Nera watermelon will see 30% and 20% increases in volumes respectively,” said export manager Margherita Avigni. During this season, Francescon will repeat its mass communication campaign to promote its products’ consistent quality. Most of the firm’s supply is for the Italian market (65%), with the remainder exported mainly to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Founded in 1968 in Rodigo (Mantua), Francescon is a specialist in open-field production of melons and watermelons in the Mantua area, in Sicily (near Agrigento), and in Senegal. Production exceeds 30 million units per year.

 

Posted on

Francescon boosts the season from February until well into October

Screenshot 2016-06-21 at 9

Founded in 1968 in Rodigo, Mantua, Francescon is Italy’s largest melon producer organisation, the undisputed national leader, and yet it is still able to keep its management structure strictly within the family. Francescon’s farms are mostly located in and around Mantua, but also in Agrigento, Sicily, and for the past three years in Senegal too, from where it sources its melons for the winter season. “Our off season,” explains Margherita Avigni, head of exports for the producer organisation Francescon, “began at the end of February with the arrival of cantaloupe melons from Senegal, where we directly farm 120 hectares equating to 4000 tonnes of product. We are now in our fourth year of marketing Senegalese product in Italy and Europe: 80% goes to Italian retailers and the remainder to other countries in Europe. You could even say that we are beginning to reap the first fruits of our labour, particularly thanks to a higher price than the average for other imported melons, which is a sign that there are chains that are prepared to pay something more for a quality product.” “Our team’s experience,” Avigni concludes, “has allowed us to anticipate the calendar, meaning we can supply melons to our clients continuously from the end of February until well into October.”The melon season in fact continues after Senegal with produce from Sicily from end-April up to end-May and afterwards from beginning of June up to mid-October with the produce from the North of Italy, precisely from the area of Rodigo (Mantua). Here in Rodigo we grow almost 2,000 hectares of which 1,000 is dedicated to melons, Cantaloupe and Galia. This year we have also started a small production of organic melon, and we are putting a large farm belonging to our group from conventional to organic crop in order to grow organic melon on large volumes. We also have the exclusivity of an excellent black-skin watermelon, probably the best on the market, with a growing program of 120 hectares; to support this new venture we built a pack house (packing line of 60 tons/hour output) dedicated to the sorting and packing operations as it is in our plans to become the leading grower of premium range watermelons in Italy for the next 3 years.

Posted on

Francescon boosts off-season production in Senegal

Francescon’s off-season began at the end of February with the arrival of cantaloupe melons from Senegal, where it directly farms 120 ha, equating to 4,000 tons of product.

While the melon season is still a long way off in the Northern Hemisphere, in other parts of the world it is already in full swing due to more favourable climate conditions, allowing the Italian market to be supplied even during the off season.

Margherita Avigni, head of exports for the producer organisation Francescon, said its off-season began at the end of February with the arrival of cantaloupe melons from Senegal, where it directly farms 120 ha, equating to 4,000 tons of product.

“We are now in our fourth year of marketing Senegalese product in Italy and Europe: 80% goes to Italian retailers and the remainder to other countries in Europe. You could even say that we are beginning to reap the first fruits of our labour, particularly thanks to a higher price than the average for other imported melons, which is a sign that there are chains that are prepared to pay something more for a quality product,” Avigni said.

Francescon guarantees this quality using the know-how it has amassed in its over 30 years of experience of bi-weekly transportation, by sea for the most part but also by air. “After two years of sales, the Senegalese product, which conforms to the technical profile and is managed by our own team, has already permitted significant increases in yield per hectare. We have also made use of our know-how to increase the local workforce, thus optimising our working method with regards to Fair Trade practice.”

And it hasn’t taken long for this labour to bear fruit: “Our team’s experience has allowed us to anticipate the calendar, meaning we can supply melons to our clients continuously from the end of February until well into October,” Avigni said.

Founded in 1968 in Rodigo, Mantua, Francescon is Italy’s largest melon producer organisation, the undisputed national leader, and yet it is still able to keep its management structure strictly within the family. Francescon’s farms are mostly located in and around Mantua, but also in Agrigento, Sicily, and for the past three years in Senegal too, from where it sources its melons for the winter season.