The tomato campaign is in full swing in Ispica after a short summer break. One of the leading companies in the area is Agricola Giamblanco which mainly grows PGI cherry and plum tomatoes.
After a season characterized by excessively-low wholesale prices, the new one seems better even though prices remain fluctuating.
"This is due to the low demand which also varies according to the weather in northern Italy. Of course, the lower the temperatures, the more fresh vegetable consumption increases. What is more, the availability of produce from central and northern Italy mitigates demand for produce from Sicily," explains communications manager Giombattista Giamblanco.
"The price of PGI cherry tomatoes from Sicily can drop by as much as €0.40/kg in a week. The availability of produce from abroad also has an effect. This means that a series of causes such as the weather, poor access to roads and complaints from retailers can all damage Sicilian tomato cultivation."
With the ever-increasing fixed costs and spread of diseases, "there is great worry, also because producers are afraid the situation will be similar to 2017/18." Unlike last year, however, quality is better so there should be a greater profit margin for producers.
"Next week we will start harvesting green salad tomatoes. Our commercial partners appreciate them and had already started asking for them a few weeks ago."