Harvesting in Puglia is underway and will continue into October, as consumer interest in organic fruit reportedly grows

Almaverde Bio grapes carton mix

Demand for organic seedless grapes continues to grow, according to one of Europe’s largest suppliers, Italian group Almaverde Bio.

In July, growers in Noicattaro, Puglia, belonging to the producer organisation Terra di Bari began to harvest early table grape variety Sugraone, and will finish in October with Autumn Crisp.

“Sweet, crunchy, versatile and above all organic, seedless grapes attract consumers all over Europe for their ease of use and goodness,” says a spokesperson for Almaverde Bio.

This year’s crop is described as being “of extraordinary quality” in terms of flavour, colour and berry size.

The grapes are packaged and then sold in Italy itself as well as other markets in Europe, where demand is said to be “progressively growing”.

Terra di Bari’s organic grape production techniques preclude the use of chemical substances such as pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers.

Instead, the group relies on natural methods to fight against diseases and pests, including mineral and natural substances, biological insect control, crop rotation and organic fertilisation.

Furthermore, it says, its methods promote genetic diversity in the plants, a reduced environmental impact, and respect for the natural cycle of the seasons.

Marketing advantage

The marketability of seedless table grapes is also strong, the group suggests, especially to children.

“Seedless grapes have a high and constant sugar content and keep for a long time,” it notes.

“They have a thin skin, an intense and bright colour, and a crunchy and juicy pulp. The taste is sweet and aromatic, with notes of fresh fruit and a slight acidity.”

Furthermore, organic seedless grapes are said to have a high concentration of antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin K and folate which make them “particularly healthy”, and are regarded as an excellent source of water and fibre, which promote digestion and physical well-being.

“A high quality product, therefore – thanks to organic cultivation – and one destined to conquer more and more space in consumer purchases thanks also to the added value of the guarantee offered by the European Union through organic certification.”

Almaverde Bio’s It’s Bio project, which is funded by the EU and an Italian association called AOP Gruppo Vi.Va, promotes the values of European quality production guaranteed by that organic certification.

Several different Italian produce companies have taken part in the project: Almaverde Bio, Apofruit, Codma OP, Ca’ Nova, Coop Sole, AOP La Mongolfiera, OrtoRomi and OP Terre di Bari.