Wholesaling markets will emerge strengthened from this pandemic, as will the purchasing of fruit and vegetables from local shops. Consumption has changed and some changes will remain even when we return to normality, according to Duccio Caccioni, deputy director of the Caab, Bologna's Food and Agriculture Centre.
We interviewed Caccioni in an online series of interviews organized by the University of Palermo with the collaboration of FreshPlaza and under the patronage of Aissa-Associazione and of the scientific societies Agrarie and Soi-Società di ortoflorofrutticoltura italiana. The cycle of interviews was coordinated by Professor Paolo Inglese.
"Processes that already existed before the Coronavirus have now been accelerated. It seemed clear to everyone that the model of the large hypermarket, disconnected from the residential areas, was in crisis with regard to food spending and more specifically that of fruit and vegetables. On the other hand, the wholesale markets, that for many were outdated, have proved their vitality".
At a time when purchasing from local shops has increased considerably, marketplaces have responded well to the increased needs. "Now we need to think about logistics, so as not to clog up the old town centres with trucks, and at the same time we need to look at a trend that is now clear, that is, an increase in online requests for home deliveries."
In his long experience in the sector, Caccioni has witnessed considerable changes and not all of them have been positive. "The experience of large-scale American hypermarkets has not paid off in Italy. From my experience with realities in different countries around the world, the trend is to copy the Italian city model, which has consumer markets, farmer markets and local shops. As Italians we have to have more confidence in ourselves. We still have a lot to teach and many people take their cue from our lifestyle."