"Growers deserve more respect"

It is impossible to demand quality and then only want to pay a few cents per kg for it. Every product has costs involved, and the hard work involved must be rewarded. This also applies to melons and watermelons. These are of good quality and should not be sold under cost price.

Michele Bombarda is 22 years old. He works with his father, Gianni, in the family business. Their farm lies between the Italian provinces of Ferrara and Mantua. It consists of more than 180 hectares where they have to pay close attention in order to cultivate melons of the highest quality. "It always feels strange to see certain prices from competitors. We know that packaging, transport, and labour costs the same for everyone. We also fear that buyers will wait until the last minute to buy products at a low price; possibly from companies that are barely keeping their heads above water. This is bad for the whole system", says Michele.

Bombarda mainly sells to wholesalers throughout Italy. About a third of their product is sold to retailers. Quality is everything. The search is, therefore, always on for unspoilt soil to cultivate on for two or three years. This results in the best product. "It is true that the large watermelons are not as popular as before. However, I think these are the best ones", says Michele.

Michele Bombarda, 22 years old

The melon market is starting to become a bit of a mess again. "It has been somewhat difficult, even for watermelons. We will just continue farming. Fortunately, we have good contacts on the market but every day is a struggle", says Michele.

According to his father, Gianni, sales are currently more difficult than cultivation. After more than 20 years of experience, their agronomic technique has become very stable. This is thanks to help from an expert technician. For sales, however, a hefty dose of luck is now needed.

"I think the role growers play deserves more respect. I have decided to do this job with much enthusiasm. I do not, however, think young people are encouraged to stay in these companies. We only make a few cents per kg. It is not exactly lucrative", concludes Michele.

For more information:
Az. Ag. Bombarda Gianni
19/A via Virgiliana
44012 Bondeno (Ferrara)
Tel.: +39 (0) 345 440 9212

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