Unionberg combines green economy and sustainable supply chain to produce bergamot from Reggio Calabria


The bergamot harvest campaign in the Italian region of Calabria Just started. This citrus fruit is used not only to enrich dishes but also a valuable health ally.

Authoritative scientific publications have established its beneficial effect on reducing bad cholesterol and the risk of diabetes.

The fruits have been on sale in the main fruit and vegetable markets and on the shelves of large retailers for a fortnight now.

“Expectations are still high this year. However, the Unionberg producers’ association, the only one recognized by the Calabria regional government, never anticipated the supply schedule,” said president Ezio Pizzi (in the photo on the left).

It is more important to us to protect the high quality of the fruit by only making it available when it is ready to harvest. In this way we can guarantee a good quality of juice and an adequate level of Brix. Otherwise, we would be ahead of the market for speculative purposes only,” Pizzi pointed out.

The 2021 campaign and climate change This year’s campaign will undoubtedly be conditioned by climate change. The citrus harvest will tend to be of medium size, due to the particularly hot climate which reached highs of 43 degrees during the summer months.

However, one thing is guaranteed, and that is that this year’s bergamots will be of excellent quality. Moreover, even if the production is estimated to be down by around 20% compared to the previous harvest year, this should not worry the sector to date, around 15% of the total fruit production is absorbed by the fresh fruit and vegetable segment.

The remaining part continues to be used for the extraction of essential oil for the most beautiful perfumes in the world.

The trend generated by the growing interest in the Reggio Calabria bergamot fruit in Northern European markets (Germany, France, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, England) is even more remarkable, with the hope that the Covid -19 will not place any other logistical obstacles.

Organic farming for Unionberg OP bergamot The Reggio Calabria bergamot fruits distributed by Unionberg OP come directly from approximately 380 member farms.

“The field work carried out by our agronomists and their feedback provide guidelines on good agricultural practices, respectful of the environment, to be applied, and on the type of fertilization and treatments, if necessary, not to be carried out. only with products authorized in France. organic farming,” explained the producer organization.

“Thanks to this careful practice, the skin can be eaten, which means that the whole fruit can be used safely. The high quality standards are guaranteed by quality control, the application of specifications, associated to integrated production systems, validated by product, traceability and environmental impact certificates.”

“Skin blemishes are well tolerated by users who fully understand that the product has been manufactured completely free of hazardous pesticides.”

Long shelf life and high quality
An important aspect is the presence of the so-called crown (the end of the stem), which guarantees its shelf life and guarantees that the citrus fruits have been harvested with special scissors and that each bergamot has been carefully handled when she was cut from the tree.

It is not uncommon to come across bergamot on the markets torn from the plants and in reality intended for the processing industries but sold for fresh consumption.

“This practice is detrimental to the sector, since in addition to bringing to the consumer’s table a product intended for processing, it also causes economic damage to the producer, who is paid a lower price than if the fruit had been correctly removed. of the tree and used for the purpose for which it was harvested. price far too low, said Ezio Pizzi, president of Unionberg.

Certified brand and sustainability achievements Another important step for Unionberg OP is brand awareness which guarantees the origin and quality of the product.

In addition to the classic traditional fruits with edible peel, the range of products supplied also includes organic fruits certified by CSQA – IT Bio 021, GlobalGAP and Grasp, certified by Agroqualità, as well as products from a production chain in compliance with standards regulations. for durability.

“Important steps have been taken in this direction to achieve the first and only sustainable supply chain of bergamot named Unionberg OP and certified by CSQA, with the inclusion of the first hundred farms whose production has already been declared sustainable by the harvest campaign underway,” Pizza pointed out.

“Climate change is now a reality that we all have to face, and our farms are committed to agriculture that respects nature and environmental resources. Water, biodiversity and soil are precious resources for the future of bergamot. Unionberg OP has chosen to work with truly sustainable companies to promote good practices and projects, through the use of environmentally friendly ingredients. We owe it to the ecosystem and the consumer, to more and more attentive and responsible. We owe it to ourselves and to our history,” concluded Pizza.

For more information:
Unionberg OP
Via Rodino, 11
89030 Condofuri (RC)
President Avv. Ezio Pizzi – +39 335 8322313
Rep. commercial – +39 335 6410010
[email protected]

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