Italy's fresh produce trade is in a state of shock following the apparent murder of Gennaro Galdiero, chief executive of AOP Serena and a leading member of the country's fruit and vegetable business.
According to reports, Galdiero was driving his car when he suffered gunshot wounds during an alleged ambush at a junction on the afternoon of Tuesday 27 May. He died later in hospital.
A 52 year-old man with links to the AOP Serena consortium was reportedly arrested by Carabinieri overnight and held on suspicion of murder.
The man is believed to be AOP Serena president Pasquale Savanelli, pictured here with Galdiero at Fruit Logistica 2013.
Writing in Italiafruit News, Roberto della Casa, one of Italy's leading fresh produce industry commentators and a close friend of Galdiero, described himself as "in disbelief, stunned, furious and destroyed" following the news.
"Although he was one of my best students, one capable of running a business and aggregating companies in a difficult region, he always struck me more for his humanity than for his clear abilities. Last week he was in my office and now he's gone. It seems impossible."
Della Casa, evidently in some distress at the tragedy of the situation, said his thoughts were with Galdiero's family.
"I think of the parents, I think of his brother, [his wife] Serena who is pregnant and his little son, and it breaks my heart."
AOP Serena is an association of fruit and vegetable producer organisations based in Campania, in south-west Italy.
Noted as the leading supplier of PGI-certified Melannurca Campana apples, the group brings together around 140 member growers supplying a broad range of fruit and vegetables produced across the southern part of the country.