"The harvesting of the Italia variety is continuing but demand does not seem as lively. The key months when it comes to sales are gone (September/October) and they coincided with a period of warm weather that slowed down demand thus driving down prices," explains Michele Santacroce, owner of a company in Casamassima, in the Bari province, with over 40 hectares of table grapes.
"Harvesting operations will continue for another ten days. The produce is looking good with good quality and flavor. Sales prices hover between €0.80 and €0.95/kg, though we should sell at at least €1.10/kg to have a good profit margin."
"The warm temperatures that characterized the start of the campaign have increased the chance of sugars of rotten grapes dripping all over the bunch. This in turn means that operators are still removing rotten grapes, of course leading to higher labor costs. We have calculated that we have spent approximately €0.70 per kg of grapes, however the fact that we want to supply grapes that look and taste good sometimes means we do not consider certain aspects of business economics."
"Through a series of intermediaries, we manage to supply various domestic and foreign channels, both big retail chains and general markets such as e.g. Verona, Milan and Bologna. Although sales prices are not thrilling, we are managing to sell produce for an additional week due to a longer campaign. Markets will not have fresh produce for Christmas, but the produce in cold storage units will be available."
"The 2019 table grape campaign has been a disaster for a series of reasons: low demand, low prices and bad weather. It is also true that the entire agricultural sector has had to deal with a series of climatic and commercial problems that have affected all crops from strawberries, cherries and apricots to table grapes."
Agri Santacroce Domenico Srl
C.da La Pigna
70010 Casamassima (Ba)
Tel.: (+39) 3471675912