Domenico Citterio

"Italy: "Many factors against potatoes"

"The awful weather, the indirect effects of the Russian ban, the lower-quality of produce and the arrival on the market of industry potatoes from Belgium all contributed to a horrible potato season," explains Domenico Citterio.

"Temperatures have been too mild this autumn to stimulate consumption and we also have to face the competition of other season vegetables which are sold at competitive prices due to the overproduction caused by the mild weather."

In addition, due to the Russian ban, a lot of produce from Poland and Romania is arriving on the market at very low prices. "Currently prices in Europe are maybe a fifth or a sixth of last year's, they don't even cover costs."

What is more, production in Northern Europe (France, Belgium and the Netherlands) was abundant and there is a lot of produce not suitable for selling. "20-30% of the produce has been discarded. The same happened in Germany, as temperatures compromised shelf-life. This in turn means there is a lot of pressure to sell out the produce, which drives prices down even more."

"For growers who negotiated contracts before harvesting, all additional volumes can be sold on the free market to gain a little more. Any price will do for them, but with supplies at only €1.50 per quintal, it is quite difficult to achieve anything more."

According to the entrepreneur, the only hope is that the market recovers once all the excess produce has been sold out, but "it won't be before January 2015."

Domenico Citterio & C. Srl

Via delll'Industria, 1/b
37036 S. Martino B.A. (VR) - Italy
Tel.: (+39) 045 8780144
Fax: (+39) 045 8780311

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