"A banana carton box should cost at least €20 but prices currently hover around €15. In Russia, a few weeks ago, they reached $26 per crate - and we keep asking ourselves why the best produce tends to be shipped to Eastern Europe and the Middle East rather than in Italy."
This outburst came from Alessandro Del Bello, someone who is doing his best to make ends meet, provide jobs and income to families and obtain high-quality productions.
"Unfortunately, the only objective in Italy seems to be the price war, especially among big retail chains willing to compromise on quality in order to win. They prefer a second or third-category product as long as they can pay less. And this applies to all fresh products, not just bananas."
A banana carton box weighs 40 pounds (18.14 kg) as standard but, in Italy, it often exceeds 19 kg. Yet there are always people asking for discounts, as though the work of those upstream is useless.
"The best produce from Ecuador is increasingly sent to Russia, where there is a vast market willing to pay for high-quality. Availability is generally low this time of year and bananas come from Costa Rica and Colombia."
"I am very disappointed and worried, and not only when it comes to bananas. Italy has become an escape valve for countries that are well-organized on a commercial level. When they have a surplus or some produce at a low price, they send it to us because they always find someone willing to buy it, just to annoy their neighbors. We prefer hurting ourselves rather than letting those near us gain even the smallest advantage."