The Italian blueberry industry within the European framework

In Italy, the production of cultivated blueberries began in the XNUMXs, while in Northern Europe the first professional productions date back to the XNUMXs in Poland.

Production schedule Europe

The European market (which has 743 million consumers from Portugal to Russia and from Malta to Norway) is now close to having an uninterrupted ground supply for 12 months of the year. In fact, Morocco, which is effectively linked to European markets from the point of view of economic and logistical integration, has integrated and extended the European production season. Morocco's trade calendar is currently from January to May, but in prospect it could extend from October to June.

The continental European season begins in February with productions from Huelva (Southern Spain), between June and July blueberries from Portugal, Northern Italy, Romania and Serbia are added, followed by Poland, other countries on the European continent (mainly Germany and Holland) and Ukraine.

Morocco, Spain and Poland are the reference European suppliers, while the Netherlands and Germany mainly serve national markets. Also in Great Britain, given strong domestic consumption, blueberry production is developing rapidly in several areas of England and Scotland.

Production schedule Italy

Although the world calendar is populated with new origins, in Italy there is also a process of diffusion of production that touches the main producing regions of the country in an arc of 1.500 km, in latitudes between 46 ° 40 'of the regions from the north (Piedmont, Trentino and Veneto), in the center of Italy (Tuscany and Lazio) and 36 ° 50´ from the southern regions (Sicily and Calabria, to which Apulia and Basilicata are added). With different climates and different varieties, currently Italy can cover a blueberry harvesting calendar that runs from February to September.

Variety and cultivation techniques

The main variety of blueberries produced in Italy is Duke, distributed in all regions of northern Italy. In these areas, a varietal diversification process is being carried out with the introduction of other later varieties, such as Blue Ribbon, Top Shelf, Draper, Cargo and Last Call. In the cold climate areas of southern Italy, Ventura is by far the main cultivated variety. The plants are mainly found on the surface, with the exception of Piedmont, where production is in soil thanks to the favorable conditions offered by acidic soil. Most of the plants in the northern regions are covered: for protection (from SWD Drosophila suzukii which is a frequent and relevant problem and from atmospheric agents, in particular hail), while in the south greenhouses are used to anticipate the harvest.

Consumer goods

In the period between 2016-2018, the European consumption of blueberries increased by 23%, reaching an average consumption of 250 g per capita. Expert projections have recently indicated the expected global consumption of blueberries in the next 2 years at 10 million tons, and the consumption in the European area at 860 g per inhabitant by 2026. The last 12 months marked by the pandemic have not changed these estimates and blueberries continue to grow in double digits in major European markets.


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