In terms of production, the apple is the most important species of fruit grown in Italy. With 2.2-2.3 metric tons produced annually, Italy vies with Poland for the highest annual production in Europe.
Italian production is stable or in slight increase, in contrast with Poland, which, due to cold damage, has erratic production. International apple production is highly standardized, in terms of rootstocks utilized (M9 and M9 clones) and tree training systems (slender spindle and spindle variants, in single rows). Turnover of varietals has increased, with the use of more highly-coloured clones of traditional cultivars such as Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Braeburn, etc., and also a growing number of new introductions, often produced and sold with the “Club” formula to maintain control of the acreage and the quality of apples sold in the fresh market. Of the two historically important varieties, Golden Delicious has maintained its position as the most-cultivated variety in Italy, while the Red Delicious group has decreased in importance. This trend has also been observed in the United States where Red Delicious had been, for over a century, the dominant apple. Scab-resistant varieties are not yet competitive with traditional cultivars but the number of these varieties with high fruit quality and good storability are increasing. These varieties are better suited to organic cultivation than traditional varieties are.