‘Dolce Passione’ the black-skinned watermelon, without seeds, all made in Italy looks to the foreign market, first Germany and France and then Northern European countries

soci Consorzio Dolce Passione

Rimini (15 May 2024) – Surfaces in triple digit, production growing, presence in the market for over five months, the foreign bet. These are the objectives of the Dolce Passione Consortium that at Macfrut presented the challenges of the coming months with the launch of the new marketing campaign of the product started these days.

Thin black skin, intense red flesh, size in the midi segment (3-6 kg). This is the identity card of the watermelon ‘Dole Passione’, the only all made in Italy. The project ‘Dolce Passione’, was born three years ago and became a Consortium in 2023, now records a 400% growth in areas, from 60 hectares to 320 of this campaign. A decisive step that has brought the production of the initial 3 thousand tons to the estimated 18-20 thousand tons of this year to be placed in the domestic and foreign market.

And it is to the challenge of the foreign market that the Consortium has five members in the sector. Four of these – Alma Seges, Cico-MazzoniSrl, Lorenzini Naturamica and Ortofrutta Castello – are dedicated to the production and marketing of watermelon, while the fifth, Lamboseeds, produces the seed of the Giotto variety that gave rise to the partnership.

“Why did we set up a consortium to present this product? – asked Roberto Castello, President of the Consortium, during the presentation at Macfrut – Because the aggregation of more companies is easier to establish in the market. We were the architects of the development of this watermelon with black skin, we believed in this product, and the result achieved is exceptional”.

To face the commercial challenge of the foreign market, The group of companies has prepared a production schedule covering a large period of time that has started these days with the first watermelons marketed to reach the end of September. So watermelons Dolce Passione will be available to consumers for a period of over 5 months, the exclusive cultivar Giotto. This is possible thanks to the genetic improvement activity carried out in Italy, cultivated only on the national territory, with diversified techniques (greenhouse, small tunnel, open field, then still greenhouse) that guarantee the long marketing period. We think that the success of the project is also due to the careful planning carried out by a qualified technical staff that allowed to respect the time as scheduled, in line with what was agreed with the commercial offices of each individual company.

“We have a product that is of high quality – said Luciano Trentini director of the Consorzio Dolce Passione -, our watermelon has a thin skin, a crisp red pulp, black skin and a high brix grade that with the advance of the season improves”.

“For us the creation of value depends on quality – continues Sandro Colombi of Lamboseeds -. We thought of a seedless with black skin because originally watermelon in Italy arrived so, so it was right to develop a similar project for Italian companies. We are trying to make innovations both in the shape of the fruit and in the colour of the pulp. The absolute novelty that we want to achieve is the change of color of the pulp. We are working to create different color pulp ensuring very high quality standards”.

As has been said, the 2024 programme has provided for the planting of some 320 hectares of watermelons, and to date the investment calendar is fully respected. The quantities expected to be obtained are estimated at around 18-20,000 tonnes, double the quantities marketed in 2023. The watermelon Dolce Passione, on the market since early May, comes from the cultivation in cold greenhouse of the Sicily region. The harvested will then continue with the productions of Puglia, Campania, Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna Veneto Lombardia.

“We are a company that has always believed in the circular economy and the protection of the environment – said Stefano Rossi of Lorenzini Naturamica – we are very selective in choosing the project and travel companions and we are happy to have entered this watermelon project at black peel that proved to be a winner”

“We work 365 days a year and when the watermelons project was born – continues Carmine Alfano of Alma Seges – by pure chance we saw that it was a business and led to excellent results. We are interested in creating a product that satisfies everyone. We made it”.

The Consortium that for a few days has started the harvested as mentioned above, will aim not only at the Italian GDO market and wholesale markets, but will look above all at exports, directing its production towards important markets, first of all the German, French and Northern European. Moreover, the numerous requests for B2B meetings received by several foreign countries, on the occasion of this Macfrut 2024, confirm that the path taken by the “Dolce Passione” Consortium is the right one.

“We have more than 65 years of history in fruit and vegetables – adds Matteo Mazzoni of Cico Mazzoni srl -, for us the strategy is to find products that are good and fresh to eat as the consumer requires”.

“The abroad – concludes Roberto Castello, president of Ortofrutta Castello – allows us to better expand our potential. The goal is to conquer the market across borders”.

Remember that this watermelon is presented as a product throughout the meal as confirmed by chef Mauro Spadoni who at Macfrut has made a series of recipes ad hoc with the product. The chef’s recipes are available on the website of the Consortium, online right now, where you can be updated on the news and activities of the Consortium.

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