South Tyrolean marketer VI.P Val Venosta is expecting to see a 15-20 per cent decrease in its apple volumes this season, as it works towards harvesting all of its fruit by the end of October.
“The harvest in Val Venosta started on time with Gala, an early variety that is showing good colour and sizes slightly smaller than in the last few years,” explained VI.P director Josef Wielander.
Harvesting of the Golden and Red Delicious varieties has now begun also, as well as the first Pinova – among other varieties – but between now and mid-October the weather is set to have a major influence on the apples’ sizing, said Wielander.
At present, the estimates are that VI.P’s member growers will harvest a cop around 15-20 per cent shorter than last year’s in volume terms, mainly the result of a major frost that affected the Val Venosta area towards the end of April, as well as smaller sizes in a number of production zones.
Colouring is reported to be excellent, however, and according to VI.P this is particularly true of Red Delicious.
Varietal innovation continues to be an important feature of the association’s development, meanwhile, with slightly smaller sizes but excellent eating quality reported for club varieties Kanzi, Ambrosia and Envy – the latter licensed from New Zealand group Enza T&G and produced locally in collaboration with fellow north-east Italian marketer Vog.
“Our main objective will be to create and maintain trusting relations with loyal markets such as Italy, Spain, Germany and the Scandinavian countries,” concluded Wielander.