"At the moment, spinach, baby spinach and teen spinach are the most popular while demand for rocket is almost zero," reports Rosario Rago (in the photo), president of Rago Group in Battipaglia (SA).
"As for orders, there are days where they are in line with the norm and others where they just drop."
"For some clients, the drop reached 50/60% while for others it reached around 30%. Exports dropped by around 70%."
The Rago family at Fruit Logistica 2020
What has changed in the past two weeks? "Demand was initially higher, then orders decreased slowly. We are doing what we can and are also bearing rather high costs, considering that our group employs around 270 people and we would like everyone to keep their job."
"As for exports, there are fewer orders due to the current emergency situation and because foreign production is early. There are no major problems when it comes to logistics, although some carriers return empty, especially those from the UK."
"We produce around fifty products: in addition to baby leaves, there is the ready-to-eat lettuce range, packed unwashed products destined to the foreign markets, eastern varieties and much more. We work with the domestic retail chain and, in December, we started supplying supermarkets in northern Italy with products already much appreciated in the center and south of the country."
"In the future, we would like to widen the range of julienne vegetables, but we still need to adjust the supply to the space offered by retailers. Of course they would suit the retail channel in northern Italy best due to refrigerator space."
The Rago team in Berlin
"I hope this emergency passes soon and that, in the future, the agricultural sector will be held in higher regard also because of the courage it is showing. Because of this, I am asking the retail chain and agricultural sector to work as partners so that there can be fairer margins for everyone. Everybody will have to readjust business models once this emergency is over."
In addition to all the PPE envisaged by the law, social distancing and physical barriers between workers, the company has activated an insurance policy for all employees to cover for any risk deriving from Covid-19.