Flavia strawberry in Campania region

8 April 2020

CIV continues its journey in the Italian strawberry cultivation areas of excellence, in order to hear firsthand the producers' opinion on the Flavia* cultivar: characterized by early growth, medium vigor and easy to harvest fruits external to the foliage, high resistance to powdery mildew and leaf and root diseases in general, excellent flavor, very sweet, with low acidity and high percentage of superior quality fruits. Also suitable for terrain with soil fatigue, for organic cultivation, or with low environmental impact.
Further confirmation of the Flavia's* potential comes from the Sele valley, from Battipaglia to be more precise. A very important strawberry cultivation area during the first years of development of this crop in Italy, but which has now become a niche area: just 200 hectares of production, but of the highest quality. 
The Giotto company, owned by the Salvi Group (one of three CIV shareholders), has been testing this variety for three consecutive years now, with increasing areas until it was decided in 2019 to plant two hectares. To tell us about their positive experience with this new variety, here is the firsthand testimony of Salvi Nurseries' Head of Research & Development: Jacopo Diamanti.
“Polish fresh plants, produced by our nurseries, were transplanted on October 18th. The mild winter and the variety's early growth allowed the first harvest of high quality fruit within the first two weeks of January, with a production of 10-15 grams per plant in a period where the quantity and quality of strawberries normally present on the market are generally low and the clearance prices tend to be very attractive for farmers!" .

Diamanti then focuses on the current situation and the fruit's qualitative characteristics that open up important commercial opportunities: "Our experience allows us to confirm that the varieties planted in the Battipaglia area show an average total production per year of 600-700 grams of product per plant. The mild climate conditions we had during the period from November to February will allow us to estimate — by the end of March — that the yield of Flavia will surely exceed 350 grams/plant. However, we must look not only at the production, but first and foremost at the fruit's quality, which remains constant throughout the entire production season, whether with cold winter climates — as already mentioned — but also with the high May temperatures, where normally there is a decline in the flesh's firmness and a rapid deterioration of the fruit if not quickly harvested and sold. This last characteristic — synonymous with excellent fruit shelf life — is certainly a strength of the variety and represents a distinctive and differentiating factor of Flavia* compared to the other varieties normally cultivated."
As regards the fruits, they display a truncated conical shape, a bright scarlet red external color and high flesh firmness. All these characteristics remain constant in all the units lifted. The flesh firmness and the architecture of the plant allow a less expensive harvest, guaranteeing greater resistance to handling, and the possibility of marketing a fruit with a high shelf life both in the marketplace and in large-scale distribution.

Diamanti finally concludes: "In general, Flavia's* agronomic and commercial performance has allowed us to identify it as a benchmark variety for future seasons. Finally, I would like to conclude by pointing out some of the fruit's noteworthy qualitative aspects, which we've not yet talked about: unlike other varieties, Flavia has a homogeneous coloring on the entire surface of the fruit, without having exhibited the so-called "white shoulder" issues. Lastly, the fruit's high flavor, low acidity, its sweetness, together with the crunchy and dense texture of the flesh, make it a variety that will find great success with consumers. In fact, Flavia* fruit fall into the mid-high to premium segment relative to the varied panorama present today in large-scale organized distribution."
• Flavia*= Flavia pbr


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