Italy: High prices yet low margins for bananas
The period between January and March is never usually a good one for bananas - there is little fruit available and prices go up, yet profit margins remain low. The produce comes from central America and quality is excellent, but volumes are not enough to meet demand.
Antonio Giuliano from Giuliano Gaetano Sas in Naples explains that "prices go up during this period as produce is lacking, while demand is constant. We even ended up paying crates €21 each and selling them off at €21.50 not to lose clients. We hope things will get better soon."
The produce comes from central America, i.e. Ecuador, Costa Rica and Guatemala in particular. Quality is excellent and, according to Giuliano, a few big operators may have bought up the fruit so as to influence the market.
The produce is stored in units for 3 days so as to reach the perfect ripening level with a green-yellowy colour. Temperature must remain between 11 and 20°C in units not to affect quality.
"We sell our produce to greengrocers, street vendors and supermarkets. My father Gaetano started commercialising bananas in the 1960s and we started ripening them in units in the early 1970s."
"We sell the most produce in May and then things come to a halt during summer. The price is per crate, with a minimum guaranteed weight of 18.140 kg. Currently crates weigh around 21 kg."
Giuliano Gaetano Sas
via Verdi 35, 80027
Publication date: 3/1/2018
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