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Italy: Producers on the current market situation of artichokes and asparagus

FreshPlaza interviewed some Italian producers of artichokes and asparagus. Giandomenico Argentieri, producer of artichokes and asparagus in Brindisi comments: “The market trend of artichokes is falling because currently they are aimed to the processing industry in order to get second, third range products and their price is about €0.05 per piece, much less than last year! However, at the moment, the fresh market stands up but the quantity aimed to this sector is small in this season.”

“We hoped the artichokes would have a higher price”, the Apulian producer goes on, “because most of artichokes were destroyed by the bad weather in the last few months, while, here in Salento, we were relatively affected. There is a certain foreign competition since most of food factories are relocating to North Africa where labour costs are lower and conserve labels do not indicate the origins of raw materials.”

“Recently asparagus have suffered from the drop in demand and a drop in the price is forecast. At first, the price was similar to last year, but the following drop (the price is usually cheaper in the middle of the season) came earlier than last year”, Argentieri comments. “In general, low prices are due to the crisis our country is facing and consequently, the drop in consumption. I wish this crisis would finish soon.”

Argentieri concludes: “We deal above all with wholesale markets, just a little of our products are aimed to retail sales. We produce about 600 quintals of asparagus and one million of pieces of artichoke per year.”

Fabio Crestani, a small producer in Pianezze S.Lorenzo (Vicenza, Italy)  said: “My company is small, about 2 hectares, we produce asparagus and cherries. At the moment, asparagus are well sold and demand overcomes supply. The price of asparagus PDO from Bassano varies between 5 and 9 Euro per kilo. Prices are higher than last year because of the low quantity of products, which was due firstly to drought and secondly to the low temperature. Asparagus suffer from changes in weather. Since the products are a few, I can sell them, which are about 20 quintals, directly.”

Publication date: 4/30/2012


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