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Italy: Bad weather affects wholesale markets

Florence, Genoa, Bologna, Pescara, Verona, Padua, Naples and Parma: these are the wholesale facilities we contacted for a comment on the situation caused by the bad weather. 

Piero Galasso, Fedagro manager at Mercato di Pescara, reports a dire situation. "We have been seriously hit by the bad weather. A lot of the supplies haven't even arrived and the local produce is almost unavailable as it hasn't been harvested because of the snow, which is a pity as sales had started to pick up. Our facility is between the Rimini and Bari markets and many choose us as suppliers."

Parma is also experiencing quite a few problems, as reported by Stefano Manghi from Fedagro. "It was -10°C, so few stalls actually sold something and needed to restock. I don't understand why access to motorways was blocked, as lorries then had to use smaller roads. Our facility also had to deal with a few limitations: although it was built 14 years ago, it wasn't insulated, so temperatures dropped inside as well. If we want it to be competitive, we need to make centres more stable."

The market continued to function in Bologna, but with less produce and fewer clients. Roberto Bortolotti from Agribologna and Massimo Venturoli from Cenerini report that "some prices have already increased. Cabbage, for example, saw a 50 eurocents increase. A lot of lorries haven't reached us because of the icy roads, others were many hours late."

Venturoli confirms that "the drop has been of around 30-50% over the past few days and we're expecting things to worsen tomorrow (March 2nd)."

Liguria was also hit by the bad weather and Giovanni Vernazza, Fedagro manager for Mercato di Genova, confirms that March 1st was the worst day. "Blocking motorway access strongly penalised us."

Naples had to deal with various problems too, as reported by manager Pietro Centanni. "We work with Puglia a lot, which was strongly hit by the bad weather. We rarely get snow and it complicated things. I believe sales dropped by 20%."

Stefano Ciolli, quality manager for Mercato di Firenze, reports that "we haven't had particular procurement problems, but the number of buyers has dropped. It was to be expected though." 

Veneto has had fewer problems, as confirmed by directors Francesco Cera (Padua) and Paolo Merci (Verona). Logistics wasn't particularly affected, but there may be a few increases next week.

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