The 2018/2019 Sicilian table grapes campaign has opened with the first fruits under the greenhouse, a product that stands out for its taste and its unique aroma, capable of conquering even the foreign consumer. We talked about this with Salvatore Novello, owner of the company named Novello & C. di Mazzarrone, in the province of Catania, leader on the market with his project to recover authenticity for table grapes made in Italy.
Which varieties did the new season open with?
With the classic early varieties: Victoria, with yellow and elliptical berries, with an average thick peel and a high degree of brix, and Black Magic, a black berry variety with a slightly sour taste and bitter aftertaste. In addition to these, we already have a few seedless matches in production.
How is the product?
This year the product is uniform from an aesthetic and organoleptic point of view. The shape of the bunch is quite generous, the coating is good. The season promises a very healthy product. On the start of the campaign we see a high caliber and some sugar degree more than last year, when the product was more heterogeneous.
What expectations are there, therefore, for the new commercial season?
In the greenhouse there is an excellent product, so the start of the campaign is quite lively, even if the market is quite flat, as far as prices are concerned. Today there is product availability all year round, there are no more commercial vacuum windows in which you could fit well to be more competitive and get better prices. If we talk about fragrant varieties, the Italian grape also wins the comparison with seedless
The marketing began two weeks (between May and June, ed), from the first to the second week we have already recorded a doubling of volumes. Now the campaign comes alive. The product, as mentioned just now, is good, both in volume and quality. The dry and ventilated season favors the absence of phytosanitary problems. There have been three adverse weather episodes, when the strong wind caused damage to some of the plants and roofs, but despite these vicissitudes the prospects are good. We believe we are replicating last year’s numbers, when around 10 thousand tons of grapes were marketed.
How is the production divided, speaking of the different varieties?
Uva Italia is our core business, representing 55% of production. The first fruits, Victoria and Black Magic, cover about 30%. The remaining part of the production consists of seedless grapes (Sugraone Seedless) and Red Globe and Big Perlon varieties.
What are the reference markets?
For several years we have consolidated our presence abroad, “neglecting”, as it were, the Italian market, where volumes are always limited. Over 90% of our production is exported: we are present on the Swiss, German and French markets, recognized for their rigorous selection criteria for suppliers. Speaking of Gdo, we are present in the major chains, from Auchan to Monoprix in France, to Migros in Switzerland. We are also present in more distant destinations such as the Arab countries, South Asia, South and North America.
And in Italy?
We are distributed in traditional markets and in some supermarkets in northern Italy.
Bring back to the tables of consumers the original taste of grapes: hence the name Autentica, a brand with which to market the Italian variety. Is this your mission?
Yes, with the Autentica project we intend to enhance the aromas, aroma and unique taste of Italian table grapes. Features that hardly the market currently finds in grapes without seeds, which today are the most. With “neutral” grapes, the heads-up with seedless grapes is inevitably open, but if we talk about fragrant varieties, Italy is still winning.
Copyright: Fruitbook Magazine
Autore: Carlotta Benini