The marketing campaign for the ‘Dolce Passione’ watermelon continues successfully: the black rind watermelon that is entirely ‘made in Italy’. The goal for 2024: to double the production area

Veneto/Emilia-Romagna (23 October 2023) – As scheduled, the second harvest of the ‘Dolce Passione’ watermelons will end in just a few days. This year, the late production of the watermelon benefited from a favourable summer/autumn season characterized by the absence of rain and summery temperatures that continue to encourage the consumption of watermelon over other types of fruit. September and October experienced summer temperatures, even rising above 30° C, meaning that consumers preferred this “classic summer fruit” to the most classic of autumn fruits, the traditional chestnuts.

We should recall that ‘Dolce Passione’ is the result of Italian research conducted by Lamboseeds and has a thin black rind when ripe with intense red flesh. It is very sweet (Brix level higher than 12) with good consistency and is seedless or with some edible white seeds. It is medium-sized ranging in weight from 4-6 kg, in the “midi” watermelon category. Following this year’s important trial, the Consortium aims to produce the ideal fruit to occupy market space beyond the classic period of summer consumption or destined for other uses.

“This year, the high quality combined with the excellent shelf life guaranteed the members of the Dolce Passione Consortium (Alma Seges, Lamboseeds, Lorenzini Naturamica, Ortofrutta Castello) excellent management of the fruit in an overall successful campaign. However, in Italy demand was affected at times by excess supply that coincided with a drop in consumption in Northern Europe due to the rainy climate”, explains Luciano Trentini, director of the Dolce Passione Consortium.

In the spring edition of Macfrut, the Consortium announced investments for production over roughly 200 hectares. “Transplanting was conducted regularly, starting from Sicily and up to Northern Italy – continues Trentini – With this area we were able to market around 15,000 tonnes of watermelons. This also allowed us to respect the related marketing programme. Thanks to the high productivity of this watermelon, we have been able to recover the production losses resulting from surfaces (fortunately few) that were seriously damaged by the strong hailstorms that hit some of our growing areas. In addition to its consumption in Italy, the quality of ‘Dolce Passione’ has led to interesting demand in some of the Northern European markets as well as in the Middle East. In fact, thanks to the second harvest obtained from late transplants the consortium can continue to supply distant markets by providing a high-quality product even in areas where high temperatures are constant, as in the case of Dubai”.

In addition to taking stock of the campaign now nearing its end, the Consortium is planning for the months to come. “This year we have achieved a very positive economic outcome – concludes Trentini – Lamboseeds, which produced the variety now on the market, as well as Ortofrutta Castello, Lorenzini Naturamica and Alma Seges, the current members of the Consortium, are already looking forward to the next marketing campaign. The goal for 2024 is to double the production area from that of 2023, perhaps with the entry of new members into the Consortium to satisfy the demand from present customers, but also from new customers who have already carried out small trials this year and intend to purchase watermelons from the Dolce Passione Consortium next year. These results can be explained also by the careful marketing policy that provides the consumer with guarantees thanks to the traceability processes”.

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