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Kiwifruit, Italy’s ambassador to the world

Kiwifruit are one of the biggest Italian fruit exports and 70% of the crop is grown for foreign markets.

No Italian fruit better embodies the role of Italy’s ambassador to the world than kiwifruit: “Kiwifruit are exported to practically every continent and the export volumes are constantly growing,” said Paolo Bruni, chairman of CSO (Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli) of Ferrara. Italy plays a decisive part in the world kiwifruit industry. The key factors for this success are optimising volume management, excellent quality and the ability of the companies involved to become international players. The top place is occupied by yellow kiwifruit, in which Italy can boast the primacy in production and also constitutively, with the setting up of the Jingold consortium, and recently also for red kiwifruit, distributed exclusively by the new Origine Group. According to CSO data, Italy as a whole had nearly 24,450 hectares of kiwifruit orchards in production in 2015. The main growing areas are, in this order: Lazio (30%), Piedmont (19%), Emilia-Romagna (15%) and Veneto (14%), though surface areas in the South are expanding.

High quality season

The 2015/16 season will stand out for the extremely high quality of all types of kiwifruit, thanks to the optimum weather conditions this year. The total crop is higher than last year but the markets are also growing, so the greater supplies should not be a cause for concern. After the moderate volumes of 2013/14, growth is being seen in the Middle East, which is returning to similar levels to those of previous years. The decrease in North Africa compared to previous years is moderate (6%). The proportion of Italian kiwifruit earmarked for Australia is also seeing good growth.

Main destinations

EU countries are still the main destination (67%), but the proportion has fallen as exports to more distant areas such as North America (10%), the Far East (7%) and Central and South America (6%) have risen. During the last marketing season Italian kiwifruit exports reached 323,000 tons, a 2% rise on the previous year. The value of these exports exceeded €410 million overall, up by 7% on 2013/14. Almost all the main destinations showed growth (Germany +1%, France +30%, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom +12%), while the volumes shipped to Spain remained constant. Growth in North American sales was again confirmed last season, as this market took almost 32,000 tonnes. The Far East also grew by 11% to nearly 23,000 tons. South American sales rose as well, confirmed at almost 20,000 tons. However, non-EU European countries as a whole saw a sharp fall because of the Russian embargo, which cut overall export volumes by half. 

The Italian ambassador

One of the strong points of this product has surely been supply-side concentration, both worldwide and in Italy. In Italy, where a fragmented supply side has often been one of the main causes of crises in the produce sector, the situation in kiwifruit appears to be much better precisely because the producers of this crop are more united than others. The CSO chairman, Paolo Bruni, spoke of precisely this aspect: “We should not forget that home consumption was rising strongly until a few years ago and is now stable at over 100,000 tons of kiwifruit a year. Nor should we forget the effort that CSO has made over the years, together with governments, regional services and our members, to open up new markets that could become important outlets for our product.” At the moment, the Italian efforts are targeting Japan, a country with decreasing home supplies and a great need for foreign kiwifruit.


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Coop Italy fuses modern retail with values

Coop Italia was founded in 1967 and is now Italy's biggest retail operator, with a total of 1,087 supermarkets, 102 hypermarkets and 1,189 points of sale.

‘La Coop sei tu’ – The Coop is you – is the slogan of Italy’s biggest retailer, comprising 1,087 supermarkets, 102 hypermarkets and 1,189 points of sale in 16 regions.

The Coop system is made up of 115 consumer cooperatives of varying sizes and geographical spread, from the biggest – such as Coop Alleanza 3.0 (the result of the recent merger between Coop Adriatica, Coop Estense and Coop Consumatori Nordest), Coop Liguria, Coop Lombardia, Novacoop, Coop Centro Italia, Unicoop Firenze, Unicoop Tirreno, Coop Sicilia and SAIT – to other smaller ones, each of them legally and operatively autonomous but all bound together by belonging to Legacoop and ANCC-Coop. As regards their purchases of food products, they all come under Coop Italia, the national buying consortium of all the Italian consumer cooperatives, created to achieve greater muscle in contracting with suppliers. Other activities are also delegated to the consortium, from store management through developing promotional activities to staff training, enabling the cooperative system to compete with the major private retailers.

Citrus from the south of Italy

Fruit and vegetables account for 70% of the total sales of Coop brand points of sale and citrus fruit comprise a very big proportion of these, 70,000 tons, with 85% grown in Italy. They are divided into five subcategories, as Claudio Mazzini, the sector chief explained: “The citrus fruit sold by Coop mainly come from Sicily, Apulia and Calabria, although 15% are imported in the offseason, particularly lemons. Oranges (50%), lemons (25%) and clementines (20%) account for almost all the fruit in this category, but the new varieties include Taclè, a cross between a nucellar Tarocco and a clementina.” Coop is also developing new premium citrus products such as Fiorfiore Washington navel oranges, Fiorfiore Tarocco oranges and Fiorfiore Amalfi lemons.

Eleven apple varieties and rising

The apple sector also takes a big share, with sales of 52,000 tons, almost all Italian-grown, organised into 11 different segments. “99.3% of the apples we sell at Coop are from Italy. The main regions are Trentino-Alto Adige, Piedmont and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, which grow around 70-80% of the country’s crop,” said Claudio Mazzini. The Coop range includes Golden Delicious, Stark, Gala, Fuji, Renetta, Pinova, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Stayman, Morgenduft/ Impero and Annurca, and new varieties such as Kanzi and Jazz are on the rise. Coop is also working to develop premium segments such as Fiorfiore Renetta apples.
The same applies to pears, with sales volumes of 16,000 tons, largely of Italian origin and divided into nine segments. Coop pears are 83% Italiangrown, mostly in Emilia-Romagna and the Veneto. “Our main segments are green Williams, Coscia, Kaiser, Decana, red Williams, other pears, summer pears and Conference pears,” said Claudio Mazzini, who confirmed that Coop is developing a Fiorfiore brand Decana pear and that Abate Rossa (red Abate) is at the trial stage but is not yet being marketed because of the limited quantities.

Red and green tomatoes

Tomatoes also make up an important proportion of the Coop range, with sales of 37,000 tons, largely from Italian growers, divided into 10 segments. Of the tomatoes sold by Coop, 98% are from Italy, especially Sicily, Apulia, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Piedmont and Tuscany. “Only 2% are imported from the Netherlands, mainly when the Italian product is scarce in July and August,” said Mazzini. The red tomatoes include datterini (plum vine tomatoes), smooth round tomatoes, red vine tomatoes and local specialities such as ciliegino di Pachino or San Marzano. Green or salad tomatoes include oxheart, oblong green, Camone and ribbed tomatoes.

Four lines of branded products

Branded fruit and vegetable products make up 22% of total sales. They total over 700 items, divided into four main lines: Coop Tutela for products that meet the Coop requirements; Vivi Verde, the organic line; Fiorfiore, the premium line; and Solidal, the fair trade line. “As well as the certificates required by current legislation, Coop brand products are certified to ISO 9001, BRC, IFS, ISO 14000 and SA 8000 and we are working towards obtaining GLOBALGAP,” said Mazzini, who confirmed that advanced integrated crop management, residue reduction, no post-harvest treatment and the eating quality standards set by the ‘frutta saporita’ (tasty fruit) project are all essential requirements.

Fair trade

Fairtrade certification guarantees the producer stable prices, credit facilities and long-term purchasing contracts, which are all useful tools to fight poverty and strengthen the producers’ position on local markets in the name of a better future. Fairtrade also promotes biodiversity, the variety of national crops and the value of local traditions, encouraging the spread of products with a lower social and environmental impact. In fruit and vegetables, the most sensitive segments in this area are the banana sector (almost 80% of the fair trade fruit and vegetable products), pineapples and nuts. As well as the Solidal line, Coop is involved in various projects to support developing countries. “Terra equa is a Coop pilot project to assess the agricultural excellences of countries in difficulties and contribute to their growth,” explained Claudio Mazzini. The project began in 2010 with dates from Jericho. Coop spent part of the proceeds from selling the dates on setting up the first paediatric surgery clinic in Bethlehem. The project has continued with green beans from Burkina Faso and melons from Senegal. The Senegalese melons grown in 2014 and sold in Coop supermarkets throughout Italy contributed to building a new health facility in the village of Tassette, not far from Dakar, the country’s capital. “The objective for next year is to buy instruments so that medical analyses can be carried out in the village,” Mazzini said.


Coop Italia was founded in 1967 as the central buying office for all the affiliated Italian consumer cooperatives. Nowadays it is the biggest retail operator in the country, with a total of 1,087 supermarkets, 102 hypermarkets and 1,189 points of sale of different types spread over 16 regions, 75 provinces and 744 municipal areas, only excluding Valle d’Aosta, Molise, Calabria and Sardinia, equivalent to 19% of the national market. Its turnover is €12 billion and it has over 56,000 employees. The present-day heir to the Italian tradition of consumer cooperatives, which dates back to 1854, Coop Italia combines the efficiency and vastness of the commercial offering of the main private volume distribution chains with the typical cooperative values of solidarity, mutuality and participation, subjecting all the main company policy decisions to the general assembly of the members under the “La Coop sei tu” [the Co-op is you] slogan.





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Small increase forecast in Italy’s peach, nectarine crops

Italy is also major peach and nectarine exporter, mainly within the EU-28. In 2014, it exported 298,442 tons of peaches and nectarines, 19% less than 2013.

Peach and nectarine production in the 2015/16 marketing year (June-May) is forecast to inch up 2.2% in Italy, the largest peach and nectarine producer in the EU-28 and second in the world after China, reports the USDA’s Global Agricultural Information Service (GAIN) in its recent Italy stone fruit annual.

Stone fruit production has a big role in agriculture in several Italian regions, both in the north (especially Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont) and the south (Campania). The bulk of the Italian harvest occurs in June and July, according to GAIN.

  • In 2015/16, peach production is forecast at 579,000 tons (555,237 tons in MY2014/15).
  • Nectarine production is forecast at 760,000 tons (765,064 tons in MY2014/15).
  • The cling peach harvest is likely to reach 74,000 tons (61,836 tons in MY2014/15). Fruit quality is forecast to be good.

Italy’s stone fruit exports

  • Italy is also major peach and nectarine exporter, mainly within the EU-28.
  • In 2014, it exported 298,442 tons of peaches and nectarines, 19% less than 2013.
  • Lower volumes were exported to Germany (- 12%), the top export destination, representing 44% of total exports.

Italy’s stone fruit imports

  • Italy imported 75,213 tons of peaches and nectarines in 2014, a surge of 25.8% on 2013.
  • This growth was driven by increased volumes from its main supplier, Spain (+31%).

Italy’s stone fruit consumption

  • Most Italian peaches and nectarines are consumed fresh.
  • While Italian consumers generally prefer large, sweet, and pulpy fruits, Northern European markets prefer smaller, slightly sour, and crunchy fruits.

Read more here.

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Southern Italy set for 30% rise in cherry volumes

Southern Italy, which accounts for two thirds of national cherry production, is forecast to register a production increase of 30% (especially for early varieties), thanks to ideal weather conditions during fruit set.

Italy’s MY 2015/16 cherry production is preliminarily forecast at 131,200 tons, according to the USDA Global Agricultural Information Service’s (GAIN) latest Italy stone fruit annual.

Southern Italy, which accounts for two thirds of national cherry production, is forecast to register a production increase of 30% (especially for early varieties), thanks to ideal weather conditions during fruit set.

Calibers are forecast to be smaller than 2014 and quality excellent, and good quantity and quality are also expected in Emilia-Romagna, the report says.


Cherry trade in Italy in 2014

Exports: Italy exported 10,419 tons of cherries, mainly to Germany (4,686 tons), last year.
Imports: It imported 10,698 tons of cherries, mainly from Spain (5,105 tons), Turkey (1,937 tons) and Austria (1,053 tons).

Read more here.

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EU approves PGI for Italian onion

Italy’s ‘Cipolla Bianca di Margherita’ – a sweet, white onion produced along the Adriatic coast – was registered in the EU as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) on October 20.

Italy’s ‘Cipolla Bianca di Margherita’ – a sweet, white onion produced along the Adriatic coast – was registered in the EU as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) on October 20.

According to the PGI application, the onion (Allium cepa L.) is a fresh product, noted for its succulent bulbs with a high sugar content. When harvested it must be sweet and juicy in the mouth and be tender and crisp in texture.

There are four different local ecotypes, based on the growing period: ‘Marzaiola’ or ‘Aprilatica’, ‘Maggiaiola’, ‘Giugniese’ and ‘Lugliatica’.

The production area for ‘Cipolla bianca di Margherita’ comprises the territories of the municipalities of Margherita di Savoia, Zapponeta and Manfredonia.

“Thanks to the specific genetic characteristics of the populations that have been selected and propagated over centuries by the local farmers and to the specific soil and climatic conditions, the ‘Cipolla bianca di Margherita’ has distinct characteristics,” the application said.

A study by the University of Foggia found that compared to other white onion cultivars grown outside the geographical area, the the most significant differences of ‘Cipolla bianca di Margherita’ onions are:

  • a low level of dry matter and soluble solids, making the onion crunchier and more succulent,
  • lack of sharpness,
  • high quantities of reducing sugars, making them sweeter
  • they are harvested earlier than in other growing areas.

Source: DOOR

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Italian exporters strengthen their ties in Asia

Italian fruit exports to China, Indonesia, Taiwan, India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are on the rise.

Italian fruit exports to China, Indonesia, Taiwan, India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are on the rise.

Italian apples, pears and kiwis have an increasingly bigger share in far Eastern countries. In apples, the 2014 campaign ended with 3,733 tons exported to these markets, 50% more than in 2013. Exports to India also rose significantly, totalling 2,520 tons in December 2014, 45% more than the previous campaign. Similar results were reported for Hong Kong, which quadrupled the volume of apples imported from Italy, and Singapore, which ended 2014 with an increase of 45%, equivalent to 444 and 489 tons, respectively. Pear exports, although less important in terms of volume, reached 105 tons this January, up 200% on the previous campaign, specifically to Indonesia and Singapore.

Finally, Italian kiwi exported to Asian markets totalled 19,787 tons in early 2015, a slight drop compared to the 2013 campaign. Although the most representative country is China, with 8,230 tons, the most striking figure is the increase in the kiwifruit share in Taiwan, which grew by almost 50%. The third largest market is India, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. For apples and kiwis, an upward trend is highlighted in the Indian market, which is emerging as a great prospect for Italian fruit.

Source: CSO


(Image: By Fred the Oyster (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

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“It’s time Italy became more competitive”

One of the main aims of Gruppo Lillo and its MD and LD brands is to make the most of the Italian origin of their products, seeking out the best price/quality balance by combining it with real, constant convenience.

Gruppo Lillo, Italy’s 2nd-ranking retailer in the discount segment and 3rd in terms of turnover, has made itself a name for genuine, constant convenience with its MD and LD brands.

One of the main aims of Gruppo Lillo and its MD and LD brands is to make the most of the Italian origin of their products, seeking out the best price/quality balance by combining it with real, constant convenience. However, Luigi LaMontagna, the group’s head fruit and vegetable buyer, warned that Italian customers already know what they want and are not prepared to spend too much just because the product has been grown in Italy. As the MD and LD buying chief explained: “Italian consumers know exactly what they want: competitive prices without sacrificing the quality of the fruit. For many years, Italian fresh produce supplies have been standing still under the Made in Italy banner. Nowadays, saying the fruit is Italian is no longer reason enough for its being really good, just as the fruit does not have to be expensive to be of good quality. With more produce of high quality available at competitive prices from competitor countries, Italian consumers have understood that they can demand more.”

Competitiveness is indispensable

“I think the time has come for the Italian produce sector, particularly in the south of the country, to become more competitive and go out and earn a market share,” said Luigi LaMontagna. “By that I do not mean that they should cut costs at the expense of the workforce in the fields. On the contrary, it is precisely at that point that more care should be taken of the resources, as without quality no business can survive. I think that the best way to be competitive is to make a genuine effort to work together, joining forces and generating commercial synergies That is not easy, bearing in mind that 90% of Italian agriculture is made up of smallholdings. PGIs and DOs are doing sterling work to uphold quality, but they cannot go too far and when it comes to selling, everyone is flying their own flag. With fewer interlocutors there would be fewer obstacles, and together it would be possible to negotiate better deals and be more competitive. It is difficult but not impossible: just look at the example of apples in the north of Italy. They are well organised, highly efficient, negotiate as a group and grow stable volumes of fruit of very high quality that fetches good prices.”

New habits, new demands

It is true that the crisis has hit consumption among Italy’s volume retailers. It is also true that end consumers have changed their habits and demands, buying less fruit but demanding better quality. Even so, in spite of the general downward trend, LaMontagna asserts that sales of niche products not only have not fallen but are in fact increasing their market share. Exotic fruit imports and organic produce are clear examples, as both segments have achieved strong loyalty. The ready-to-eat boom is another example of a niche market that is prospering in these changing times and responding to new demands. A product that is ready to eat fits in perfectly with the modern habit of working at a distance from the home. Immediate consumption, a high quality product and a reasonable price are the perfect trio of advantages to spawn commercial success, as we are seeing nowadays in Italy, owing to its convenience,” LaMontagna explained. 

Lillo Group S.p.A. Lillo Group SpA is one of the biggest Italian volume retailers operating in the discount channel. Its MD and LD brands are present throughout the country. In 2014 it achieved sales worth €2 billion and its market share reached 15%, making it the second-ranking Italian player in this sector. The history of the Lillo Group is that of Patrizio Podini, the sole director, who was born in Bolzano and has been active in the retail sector since the 1960s. In 1994 he decided to invest in the southern Italian regions and founded MD Discount, which continued to grow until it “disembarked” at national level in 2014 with the acquisition of the LD Market chain, with its widespread presence in the north of Italy, from Gruppo Lombardini. This created a nation-wide scenario that now boasts over 720 points of sale and a staff of over 5,000, and can shift hundreds of millions of boxes a year through six depots. The main one is at Gricignano di Aversa (province of Caserta), which covers 64,000 m². This high-tech logistics jewel was built to be sustainable, thanks to a photovoltaic installation with 9,727 solar panels, which provide enough power to supply a village of 700 houses, and to the use of LED lighting.


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Sisa: retailers of excellence

Sisa Centro Sud's philosophy is always to try to favour local and short supply-chain products of excellence and products from Italy.

Sisa Centro Sud favours top quality local produce from Italy

Sisa Centro Sud, the branch of the Italian retail multiple Sisa that looks after the central and southern regions of the country, controls around 500 points of sale with floor areas ranging from 200 to 1200 m² in Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Molise, upper Calabria and lower Lazio from its operations headquarters at Gricignano di Aversa (province of Caserta). The company philosophy is always to try to favour local and short supply-chain products of excellence and products from Italy.

Apple and pears: origin Italy

In apples and pears, Italian fruit are very strong: 90% of the apples on the shelves are from the Trentino-Alto Adige region, with a strong show of PDO labels such as Melinda and Val Venosta as well as generic Trentino fruit. Only 10% are imported, and only at the end of the season. Dr Palladino explained that “in this area too, PDO and PGI labels are very important for consumers, particularly in varieties such as Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Fuji and Royal, but also for Granny Smiths”. The same holds true for pears, which to a very great extent (over 90%) come from Emilia Romagna and largely in varieties such as Abate and Conference, while Kaiser and Williams have not achieved the same popularity.

Screenshot 2015-06-15 at 13.05.44.png

The best comes from Sicily

In citrus fruit, much importance is attached to red oranges such as Sicily’s Tarocco variety, sold under the red oranges from Sicily PGI only during its season. “The market has responded very well, as consumers appreciate not only these oranges but all the GPI and PDO products from Sicily,” commented Agostino Palladino, the head fruit and vegetable buyer for Sisa Centro Sud. Tomatoes are one of the greatest strengths of Sisa Centro Sud, which mainly sources all the varieties from Sicily: cherry, Piccadilly, different oblong types, ribbed tomatoes etc. A small proportion also come from lower Lazio, particularly from the Fondi area, and the imported product comes from Morocco. As Palladino explained: “Sicilian tomatoes allow us to discover a very precise identity of our own that is unique in the world”. The potatoes are also local – the centre and south of Italy can boast a crop of a good standard – with 60% coming from Avezzano (Abruzzo) and Campania and the remaining 40% imported from France. Leafy vegetables and lettuces are sourced almost exclusively from Battipaglia (Campania), with the sole exception of iceberg lettuces, which are imported from Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

Sisa brand: a big success in convenience foods

Sisa Centro Sud has also developed very successful branded lines of fresh cut products, with twelve Sisa brand products including baby leaves, baby rocket and baby spinach and a further six under the Primo low-price brand, as well as Sisa brand potatoes. Palladino emphasized that “the market has responded very well, particularly to the Primo mark, which price-for-price offers better quality than our competitors in this area”. „


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Italy faces larger apple crop but decline in pears, table grapes


USDA FORECASTS 2014/15 MARKETING YEAR (in metric tons)


APPLES (marketing year July/June)


Production: up 11% rise to 2.38 million

Exports: down slightly (less than 0.5%) to 870,000

Imports: down slightly (just under 3%) to 41,000


PEARS (marketing year July/June)

Production: down 2.6% to 707,000

Exports: 146,000 (down slightly from 146,601)

Imports: 103,000 (up slightly from 102,209)

(World’s top pear producers: China, US, Italy)


TABLE GRAPES (marketing year June/May)

Production: down 20% to 960,000 on record of 1.2 million in 2013/2014

Exports: 470,300 (down from 500,971)

Imports: 22,320 (up from 20,237)

Withdrawal from market: 9,300

(World’s top table grape exporters: Chile, US, Italy)



The weather has favoured Italy’s 2014/15 apple marketing season but not that of its table grapes and pears, according to new forecasts by the USDA.

The country’s apple crop is expected to increase by 11% but, after a record harvest last season, that of table grapes will drop a fifth, mainly due to adverse conditions during flowering and fruit set.

And heavy rainfall during the fruit setting and maturity phases makes a 2.6% drop likely in the country’s pear supply compared to last season, the USDA said in its report “Italy: Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual 2014”.


Apples: potential in North Africa, the Middle East


The fruit size for the apple season is expected to be above average and quality high.

“Remarkable increases” are forecast for Red Delicious (+19.6%), Granny Smith (+19.6%), Fuji (+12.1%), and Golden Delicious (+9.5%).

Last season, Italy’s apple exports to Russia (mostly Granny Smith and Golden) reached 26,318 tons but in light of the Russian ban since imposed, Italy’s apple sector could look to the growing markets of North Africa and Middle East, the USDA said.

Italy grows about a fifth of the EU-28’s apple production, with Trentino-South Tyrol – which delivers 70% of Italian apple production – alone supplying 15% of the European crop.



Pears: decline in acreage

With about 34,241ha, mainly in the northeast, Italy is the EU-28’s largest pear producer but the total of its pear orchard area has been declining in the last decade “due to lack of profitable investment opportunities,” the USDA said.

Emilia-Romagna is the area supplying two thirds of Italy’s total pear crop.

Abate Fetel is the dominant variety, followed by William B.C., Conference, Kaiser, Coscia-Ercollini, Decana, Max Red Bartlett, and Santa Maria. Production decreases are forecast for Kaiser, Decana del Comizio, Santa Maria, and William.

Table grapes: drop in wholesale prices

Aside from the unfavorable weather during flowering and fruit set, cold temperatures in mid-July damaged several plantations “thus affecting the fruit quality which overall is forecast to be good,” the USDA said.

“The production drop, slow consumption, and the Russian ban made wholesale prices drop by 25-30% compared to the last season from 1.30-1.50 €/kg to 0.70-1.20 €/kg.”

Italian table grape production – which ranks sixth globally in volume – is mainly in  Apulia and Sicily, with Italia, Victoria, and Red Globe the varieties accounting for two thirds of the table grape area.

“In the last few years, Italy has gradually moved to seedless grapes cultivation, due to an increasing demand from intra and extra EU markets. Sugraone and Crimson are the most popular seedless varieties followed by Thompson, Centennial, and Sublime,” the USDA said.

Read the report:








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USDA tips small increase in Italian orange production

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Italy’s orange crop should be up 4% on last season but there’ll be a lack of big size fruit, says the USDA’s Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) in a new report. Fruit quality is expected to be good, despite unfavorable weather, though there’ll be more small size oranges in the 2013/14 (November-October) marketing year, it said.

Orange consumption is likely to remain flat in Italy, where most oranges are consumed fresh, principally the blood varieties (Tarocco, Moro, and Sanguinello), GAIN said. In 2012/13, Italy imported 223,566 tons of oranges (mainly from Spain) and exported 126,083 tons (mainly to Germany).

Little change is expected in Italy’s tangerine, lemon, and grapefruit crops. Its tangerine production is more than 80% seedless clementines (mainly Comune or Oroval and Monreal) and the rest mandarins (mainly Avana and Tardivo di Ciaculli varieties), with very slight reductions in production but satisfactory quality forecast for both.

GAIN said Italy’s lemon-producing area (concentrated in Sicily) is gradually shrinking due to reduced profitability and consumption will probably slip 6% on last season.