In 2017-2018, the balance between supply and demand which characterised the carrot market – both in Italy and Europe – facilitated an acceptable stability for the campaign prices. During this 2018, we are witnessing a supply drop, in contrast with 2016-2017. This is caused by the reduced surfaces and by the climate anomalies: unprecedented cold during winter (Northern Europe) and unprecedented heat during summer (Southern Europe). There is the possibility that this situation will occur again next year.
Sergio Trevisan – Gruppo Mazzoni - Divisione Fresco marketing manager – analyses some important markets for the carrot. “Both Belgium and the Netherlands are finishing the harvesting – which started in June. Some areas were affected by the last summer’s draught. However, the producers who could irrigate did not experience any repercussions on the volumes and on the quality. Dutch producers should finish the harvesting by the end of November. Both Dutch volumes and quality seem to be superior to the Belgian ones. The current campaign prices are 0.25 euros/kg, and they tend to be stable. In any case, everything depends on the climatic conditions”.
The situation in Poland is definitely more serious. The draught negatively influenced both production and quality. The harvesting is almost over and the campaign prices doubled compared to the last season: 0.24 euros/kg as a consequence of the reduced availability. Not all the producers have the possibility to irrigate carrot crops.
Trevisan continues, “Also in Spain, there are different situations depending on the production area. The Valencia and Alicante regions dropped the production by 20% if compared to 2017 – due to the persistent rain which determined the low-quality of the produce. Produce from Central Spain is one month late because of the cold weather. The harvesting should start around the beginning of December. Standard quality and volumes are expected thus allowing fulfilling the requests from the European MMRs. Spanish producers are cautious regarding the prediction for the 2019 March-April production. It will all depend on the climatic conditions. The number of planted hectares is the same as last season – which ended positively in terms of prices yet negatively in terms of yields precisely because of heavy rains”.
“Outside EU, the situations are completely different. In Turkey, for instance, carrot production keeps going and the quality is good. The harvesting calendar starts from August and ends in April in the Ankara Southern area, and from March to April in the areas close to the Syrian borders. Since Turkey is not equipped with the latest refrigerated storage structures, the produce is mainly destined for the internal market or it is exported to Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Syria and Iraq”.
In Israel, carrots are harvested 10 months per year, from October to July over a surface of almost 1.800 hectares. Between the month of July and August, the early varieties are harvested; starting from September, the medium-variety are harvested and between October and December it is the turn of the late varieties. A few weeks ago, the carrot campaign has begun with the purpose of satisfying the internal consumption. Israel is not a carrot importer because of the high customs duties – with the exception for the “shant shmita” periods or if adverse climatic conditions persist. It is renowned that Israel can rely on specialised techniques and labour. The fridge-storage structures and the good position with regard to logistics allow carrot producers reaching overseas markets such as USA (West Coast), Russia, Asia and part of Europe.
Trevisan continues, “We at the Azienda Agricola Mazzoni are very satisfied with the 2018 marketing campaign trend of the Mazzoni Divisione Fresco. For years, the Azienda Agricola Mazzoni has been a leader in the conventional carrots production in Southern Europe. We devote more than 250 hectares per year and in 2019 we will devote 120 more hectares to the organic carrot farming”.
The carrot is farmed on sandy soils close to the Adriatic shores. Mazzoni carries out a regular crop rotation with potatoes, industry tomatoes, peas and so forth. The production area is 30 km away from the packaging and refrigeration centres. All of this is managed by just ‘one agent’, from the sowing and the harvesting to the processing and the shipping.
The recently adopted farming techniques allow us having carrot availability throughout 11 months. During April, Mazzoni implements its own carrot production with the Sicilian one. Every part of the productive process is controlled and certified.
“This ‘red-thread’ allows the Divisione Mazzoni Fresco marketing sector to sign agreements with the most important retail chains within the internal market as they acknowledge the value of a supply chain controlled by one entity only. We carry out 50% of our marketing in Italy with MDD produce, and the remainder 50% is exported to North Europe and Balkans”.
The manager concludes, “For two years, we have been carefully analysing the coloured carrot sowing and harvesting calendar in order to positively respond to the new consumption trends. It is crucial to identify the most suitable fields in order to ensure the best productivity and quality. In this way, our commercial partners are never disappointed with the quality”.