The comments of Apofruit and Coop Sole
Thanks to the NSG Network project, Nova Siri Genetics, a research and experimentation company for new strawberry cultivars, contributes to the planning of the production of this berry from the winter months until late summer. The subjects of the supply chain present in the Network make use of the results of NSG’s research, experimenting with the varietal novelties of the genetic improvement project, in close connection with their reference markets. In this way, research supports the world of production, offering innovative varieties both in terms of production period and organoleptic characteristics, in line with market needs.
NSG's early varieties allow producers to seasonally adjust the supply and cope with a growing demand for strawberry products even in the coldest periods of the year. The nurseries authorized by NSG for the multiplication of varieties have distributed in Italy around 65 million plants of strawberries, 60% of which are represented by the varieties NSG 203 - Marimbella® and Melissa and the remaining part by medium-late varieties as Rossetta® and NSG 207 - Gioelita®.
The strawberry producers of Campania, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily already started production in December, with the pot plant of Marimbella®, and then continued with the fresh plant of Marimbella® and Melissa.
Pietro Paolo Ciardiello, director of Coop Sole, expresses his satisfaction in having included one of the NSG branded varieties in its catalogue. "We have been cultivating Melissa organically for about 5 years, now counting 25 hectares dedicated, areas that are added to those conducted conventionally (100 hectares of Melissa only). This is a variety that has allowed us to make the leap in quality and which we export to 5 GDO foreign brands (Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark) and to Italian chains as well, from January to the first days of June. Rusticity of the plant, high productivity, flavor, and consistency of the fruit are the main characteristics of Melissa, so much so that it proves to be more performing in an organic regime rather than a traditional one".
Positive feedback also comes for the Marimbella cultivar. Speaking this time is Ernesto Fornari, director of Apofruit. "For the 2022/23 strawberry campaign, we planted 650,000 Marimbella pot plants in the Metapontino area (about 10 hectares) and we have planned 1.2 million for the next season. An ambitious project, which was born following the strong price increases of the last year and the consequent choice of some of our associates (about 30%) to plan the practice of strawberry succession on the same soil. It is a variety that boasts a balance between the needs of the production and distribution aspects".
"We chose Marimbella - continues the director Fornari - because it is a variety that easily adapts to the be replanted on the same mulching of the previous year, without the need to push too much the crops. It is a vigorous plant that allows us to deseasonalize and harvest the first fruits since the end of November, being able to count on discrete quantities already in the first part of the season. In addition, in the second half of April, Marimbella reaches its maximum weight collected per plant, just when there is a significant shortage of staff. Therefore the associates can free the labor from the strawberries fields and to employ it in other activities".