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Roberto Chiesa (Romagnoli)

"Italy: "Excellent-quality potatoes, but prices are low"

The negative consumption trend is penalising this year's excellent-quality potatoes. "Quality is very high this year despite the weird weather during harvesting, consumption however is very low," explains Roberto Chiesa, sales manager for F.lli Romagnoli and manager of the Potato & Onion division for Alegra. 



The expected production should reach 1.5 million tons which, when combined with a 5-7% drop in production, this means we will have to look abroad for 400,000 tons.

Actually, according to Chiesa, the situation is not as bad as people make it out to be.

"Operators are really worried but, as usual, the only solution they can find is lowering prices and placing products on special offer. This way, consumers get used to only buying potatoes that are on special offer and retailers never sell at full price."



"This happens throughout the entire year. The fact is, that potato consumption is quite rigid, i.e. people do not eat more if the price is lower. Tubers are now being sold at ridiculous prices, so much so that the entire chain suffers. This is no longer a question of covering production costs, because nobody even makes a profit."
Potatoes sold on special offer now represent 30% of the total.



"In the next five-six winter months, we must try to obtain the maximum from a market that seems to be hardly receptive. We must plan a system strategy to avoid years like this one and create a chain in which producers grow high quality products, packers manage costs correctly and distributors apply a transparent price policy."

Contacts:
Romagnoli F.lli spa

Roberto Chiesa
Via Quarto di Sopra 1/7
40127 Bologna
Tel.: (+39) 051 6069616
Fax: (+39) 051 6069608
Email: roberto.chiesa@evita.eu
Web: www.romagnolipatate.it

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