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Italy: Unusual November heatwave compromised mushroom production

In the current Pleurotus Eryngii mushroom campaign, the prices are dropping by 40% while the production increases. FreshPlaza contacted Rocco Viggiano from the Fe.VI. Frutta company in order to better understand the situation of mushroom farming in Southern Italy – especially regarding the Basilicata region, which is one of the most important areas for mushroom marketing and production.

“Last November did not go well at all because of the overproduction that our suppliers faced which ultimately resulted in the price drop. Mushroom is a produce which is directly influenced by the climatic condition. High temperatures cause a disproportionate increase in production. At the same time, the high temperatures slowed down the mushroom consumption thus resulting in an imbalance between production and sales”.

“Our producers know that mushroom rootstocks can last up to three months. However, this has not happened in this year as they did not produce any more when they reached their standards. The ideal temperatures should be between 8 and 11 C° and not the 19 – 20 C° (outside greenhouses) we recorded in these last days”.

“As a consequence, the prices incredibly dropped by almost 50%. The Pleurotus has been indeed sold for less than 1.50 euros in wholesale channels. For a few years, we have been used to unusually warm fall months which compromise the entire production (and not only the mushrooms)”.

“Fe.Vi Frutta markets mushrooms in different Southern Italian regions, but also some places in Northern Italy, with a  total production of 35 tons. As the Christmas holidays approach, sales will inevitably increase and therefore the consumption as well. This is an occasion to give our producers what they deserved in the first place, in terms of revenue”.

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