In order to deal with the effects of the terrible frost of 2020 and reduce costs, Agrintesa decided to close down two facilities in Castel Bolognese and Bagnacavallo (Ravenna) as well as to partially close the one in Castelfranco Emilia (Modena). This was made necessary by the drastic drop in stone fruit volumes in Emilia Romagna, as many fruits were "burned" by temperatures that reached -6°C on April 1st and 2nd 2020. This decision is limited to the summer fruit period.
President Drei and director Moretti
The reorganization plan put in place by Agrintesa affects the whole company. "All activities were reprogrammed based on the lower quantities available, starting with the temporary closure of some processing and collection centers in Castel Bolognese, Bagnacavallo and, partly, in Castelfranco," explains Drei.
"Together with the provincial and regional trade unions, we shared the processing method for the produce available as well as all other organizational activities, setting up temporary layoffs. They will be applied to different departments as needed. At the same time, we worked to contain as many costs as possible."
These were not easy choices to make, but the company had clear objectives in mind, i.e. to safeguard partners and maintain the its competitiveness. "In some cases, there was a 90% drop in volumes (apricots and plums) and, without a specific plan, costs would have skyrocketed, affecting partners who already had to deal with the effects of the frost."
"We therefore decided to get organized and share the difficulties to provide guarantees to our partners, collaborators and clients. We are already working for 2021/22 and, thanks to these extraordinary interventions, we will remain competitive and ready to face the market."
"Our thoughts go out to those partners who lost almost all of their production and who will have to wait at least a year before recovering. The survival of these businesses is vital for the territory as, if the production world collapses, entire chains will disappear with unimaginable effects on the economy and society."
"The current damage reaches €400 million when it comes to production alone, plus there are over 300,000 working days lost in collection warehouses. Agrintesa chose to safeguard its systems, but the authorities must work with us, like Regione Emilia Romagna did, to support the segment, which is crucial for the entire regional and domestic territory."
As for 2019, "despite the problems that characterized it, partners received 3% more than in the previous year despite the lower volumes (-9%). At such a difficult time, Agrintesa proved competitive and managed to defend the value of the produce collected," adds general director Cristian Moretti.