Lettuce harvesting began in late April at the Piana del Fuccino in the Abruzzo region, 700 meters above sea level. “We started ten days later than last season due to frost in April. However, the quality has been good so far. We can not complain. We can usually harvest three times from mid-April / early November,” said Mario Luigi, owner of Freddie Repoldi at Lugo de Marci. Fabrizio Ripoldi said.
Lettuce Fields (All photos in this article are provided by Fratelli Ripoldi)
Fratelli Ripoldi began his horticultural activities with potato cultivation in the early 1980s. Since Mario and Fabrizio took the lead, the company has become an integral part of the national and international markets, especially with regard to spinach. In addition to lettuce, they grow cauliflower, radicchio, savoy cabbage, broccoli, various varieties of lettuce, potatoes and cabbage.
“Our company owns about 250 hectares of land, 60% of which is used for lettuce cultivation. This crop is packaged in boxes or sold as loose material depending on the target channel. We work mainly with retailers and major supermarkets in Italy and abroad. 40% reached 60% for processing industries. And for new markets, ”says manager Ricardo Signo.
“Some of our crops are exported to foreign markets. We mainly export lettuce and cauliflower to Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the Baltic countries.”
Mechanical lettuce harvesting
“Lettuce requires fertile early fertilization, followed by a good seed bed, so that the lettuce is evenly cut at harvest time. Harvesting takes place from 03:00 am to 09:00 am, which is done mechanically. Once the lettuce is harvested, it is sold. The crop desired for packaging can be refrigerated at 4 ° C and stored for several days. ”
“To date, the season has not really started, sales are slow. At this time we are still at the start of the season, but will be running at full capacity from the end of May.
Lettuce in a wooden box
“All of our crops are mainly transported in plastic crates. However, we see a trend towards wood packaging in new markets. Each destination has its own specific requirements, but what we need to note is the demand for wood crates, especially in northern Italy,” concluded Signo.