The watermelon and melon season is in full swing at O.P. Agricola Campidanese. It starts with Eleonora and Gavina, seedless mini-watermelons with a unique color, texture and weight that have become famous on a European level.
FreshPlaza has talked about it with Salvatore Lotta, sales manager of the Sardinian organization. "We started selling the first pallets to domestic retail chains at a price of €1.40/kg compared to €1 of the past season. Feedback has been satisfactory, so we are hopeful as regards the next few months. We have also started supplying the Netherlands, Poland and Austria and we are currently waiting to start with Switzerland, Germany and other European destinations. The limited Spanish availability is also helping, as it weirdly makes the Italian produce more competitive. In Spain, in fact, many crops were damaged by rain and frost."
"The climate in Sardinia is truly exceptional, as it enabled not only to make up for the delay accumulated during the previous months caused by the temperature drops but even to start harvesting Eleonora and Gavina 10 days early. The past 2-3 weeks have in fact been favorable for growth and ripening. We have reached peaks of 38-39°C, while the nighttime temperature never dropped below 22°C."
Gavina mini-watermelons ready to be harvested
"The inflation and increase in production costs have led to fewer crops being planted. This year, 150 hectares have been destined to Eleonora and Gavina. We were careful and, although orders do seem satisfactory, we do not regret our decision."
"Eleonora and Gavina mini-watermelons stand out thanks to their crunchiness, high sugar content, long shelf-life and ease of transport. The weight of Gavina fruits hovers in fact between 1.4 and 2.5 kg, while Elenonora fruits are slightly larger at 4-6 kg. They both have a thin rind, which represents only 15% of the total weight compared to the 3% of traditional watermelons."