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Italy: Solutions to tackle the stone fruit crisis

The stone fruit market has come to a standstill again and, if no one does something about it, domestic stone fruit might disappear.

We asked Francesco Donati, President of Federazione nazionale di prodotto frutta fresca for Confagricoltura, for his opinion about it. He has just got back from a congress in Brussels where the current situation was discussed with Spain, France, Greek and Hungary.

"Italy is the most disorganised in Europe, but it doesn't mean things are going better for the others. Prices at origin of peaches, nectarines and apricots are 50 cents below what they used to be a year ago. The market is full, although production is only 10% more."



According to Donati, a solution must be found quickly. "For example, produce damaged by hail and waste should be left in the fields to act as a biofertiliser. Unfortunately, us producers tend to harvest everything and spend money to do so even if we receive nothing for it. In addition, at the end of the year, we buy organic fertilisers. We're not being very smart."



"The market is just like an hourglass - producers and consumers are on either sides while retail buyers - which are few and well-organised - are in the middle. We cannot all pass through the middle, we need to organise to reduce and optimise our number."



"We need to do something quickly, otherwise we won't be able to tackle the crisis and there will be no escape."

Publication date: 6/16/2017


 


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