Salaries in the Italian agricultural sector vary between €7.20 and €12.90/hour (2018 data). In Spain, they go from €5.10 to €7.70/hour while they are only €1/hour in Morocco. Work hours per week are 39 in Italy, 44 in Spain and 48 in Morocco.
The convention organized by Italia Ortofrutta revealed the need for reforms within the agricultural sector. The event took place on 31st May 2019 at Fico in Bologna to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Italia Ortofrutta, the National Union gathering 132 POs on a national level.
"The average salary is €10/hour in Italy, €7 in Spain and €1 in Morocco - so, in Morocco, it is ten times lower than in Italy. If we analyse the Italian system and compare it to other countries, we can see various problems," explained Ersilia Di Tulliodi Nomisma.
Ersilia Di Tullio from Nomisma
"Specifically, we have identified 5 issues (access to credit, building permits, taxes, aggregate tax and distribution rate, compliance of contracts) against only one in Spain (setting up a business) and 4 in Morocco (access to electricity, access to credit, trading procedures, settling of insolvencies)."
Italia Ortofrutta director Vincenzo Falconi stated that "the working days per hectare needed during the cultivation and harvesting phases vary from 81 for apples to 516 for strawberries."
Vincenzo Falconi and Gennaro Velardo, director and president of Italia Ortofrutta respectively
"If, to the cost of labor during the agricultural phase, we add that of processing and packaging activities, we can see how 40% of the income generated by the sales of a PO is destined to paying for labor alone. With these conditions, market prices do not cover production costs."
Terra della Luce director Alberto De Vincenzis (photo above) and Jingold president Patrizio Neri (photo below) discussed their experience.
Italia Ortofrutta president Gennaro Velardo added that "this is a hot topic as, nowadays, labor is one of the main problems for businesses. Implicit and explicit costs are growing and already exceed what our competitor countries must face."
Undersecretary for agriculture Alessandra Pesce also took part
"Areas with a high level of specialization are finding it more and more difficult to find workers, even at peak times. The issue is not only finding a suitable number of workers but also finding them qualified and trained."
"We ask institutions to acknowledge this problem and to simplify bureaucratic procedures, as they are a serious problem when managing labor and seasonal workers in particular. They should also favor recruiting and training procedures."
The convention was moderated by Duccio Caccioni from Fondazione Fico
"We are asking institutions for a regulation to make producers more visible. Currently stores do not display the names of producers of POs, we remain invisible. How can we give importance to something that is invisible?"