The CSO said that Italian strawberry cultivation remained stable in 2011, in its last report on the extension of specialised strawberry growing in Italy. The cultivated area, currently about 3,500 hectares, in fact, increased by just 1%. Eighty percent of this area concerns greenhouse cultivations and 18% concerns cultivations in the open field. Concerning distribution of strawberry cultivation in the territory, the leading region is Campania (23%), followed by Veneto (17%), Basilicata (14%), Sicily (9%), Emilia Romagna and Calabria (7%). The situation is generally stable in the north, with drops worthy of note in Emilia Romagna (an ongoing trend over the last few years), while in the south the area continues to increase (+17% in Basilicata, +8% in Campania and +5% in Sicily), with the exception of Calabria (-4%).
As far as exports are concerned, Italy is among the eight countries in the world that contribute to strawberry exports, although it stands right at the bottom of the list, while Spain dominates (with 32% of total exports), followed by the United States (19%), Mexico (11%), Belgium (6%), Holland (5%), France (4%), Turkey (3%) and Italy, with 3%. Spain exports about 220 thousand tonnes of strawberries (70% of its production), albeit exports go almost exclusively to the 27 countries of the European Union, where the most important importer is Germany (90 thousand tonnes of Spanish strawberries in 2000, today 70 thousand – namely 17% of Spanish exports), followed by France (which purchases more than Germany, but only because they re-export them), Italy (6%), Great Britain (5%) and Belgium (3%).
Italy, on the other hand, exported 17,600 tonnes of strawberries in 2010 (+23% over 2009, which was a disastrous year, but –5% with respect to the 2007-2009 average). Germany is also the most important purchaser for our country (43% of Italian exports), followed by Austria (19%), Switzerland (17%), Hungary and Great Britain (3%).