The production of Strawberries
The worldwide production of strawberries is attested around 2.5 million tons; the largest producers of strawberries are: the United States, with over 27.1% of the world production of strawberries, Spain, Japan, Italy, Russia and Korea.
Spain is the largest exporter of strawberries in Europe and second in world production, following the United States. Within the Spanish territory, the region of Huelva maintains the record with 90% of the production. In 2008/09, the area for the production of strawberries in this region amounted to 6,600 hectares, an increase over the preceding year: furthermore, in 2008/09, 66% of the area assigned to the production of strawberries was subject to the integrated production system. The production of strawberries in Spain reached 249,410 tons, of which 80% traded as fresh product.
In Italy, instead, the production of strawberries covers an area of approximately 6,000 hectares, which gives a production of strawberries of more than 130,000 tons. The record is due to the Italian region Campania, from which comes 31% of the national production (67,315 tons), followed by other regions such as Emilia-Romagna (15% amounting to 31,452 tons), Basilicata (14%), Veneto (12%), Piemonte (10%), Lazio (7%) and Sicily (2%).
A growing number of producers of strawberries in italy is gearing up to tackle the difficult work necessary for the production of strawberries and the trade of strawberries. In spite of this, however, the Italian production of strawberries, compared to the the world production of strawberries covers a percentage of slightly more than 4.5%. The problem of strawberries quality is a highly considered matter of the production in any context, and especially in the fruit and vegetable trade, where consumption is generally stagnant. Researches show that on average, the quality characteristics of strawberries differentiated in the last ten years: this indicates that there has been a project for improving the production of strawberries, getting sweeter fruits. Therefore, if we act with genetics, or by monitoring the ways used for the cultivation of strawberries or by using a synergy of both, we can improve the quality of strawberries produced and distributed on the fruit and vegetable market.
The strawberry is certainly the crop, whose technics for the cultivation have more evolved and still are evolving in recent decades: the fast changes in "technologies" make the cultivation of strawberries get moved from an area, where some techniques are used, to another area, where new techniques are being introduced.
As mentioned before, Europe, Spain, Italy and France, are in order, the three main countries producers of strawberries. In recent years, in Belgium, Holland and in some areas of Italian Alps, there has been an expansion of the production of strawberries, with the development of "soilless" cultivation techniques, to produce "offseason" strawberries, to obtain early as well as delayed strawberries, compared to the usual strawberry season, which usually begins in December and ends in June.
The largest increases for the production of strawberries over the last ten years (2001-2011) were recorded in Turkey (+116%), in the former Soviet Union (+98%), in Spain (+78%), in Germany (+48%), in Korea (+42%), in the United States (+38%), in Mexico (+35%) and in Egypt (+25%). In the same period, several countries have reduced their production of strawberries: Poland (-26%), Japan (-22%), France (-22%), Italy (-6%) and Britain (-4%).
The world cultivation of strawberries has experienced significant and continuing growth on the fruit and vegetable market: large investments are recorded especcially in the Usa, Germany, Turkey and Spain, which has consolidated its role as the second largest world producer, with an offer that exceeds the threshold of 300,00 tons of strawberries produced.