The rise in infections in most of Europe pushed many countries to introduce new restrictive measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 in the Continent. Restaurants were among the first businesses to close, with the possibility to continue with deliveries and takeaways.
Many Italian businesses supplying the foreign H&R sector have been affected by the cancelling of the orders. "We supply various restaurants, hotels and catering businesses in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, but everything has stopped. Luckily this sector does not represent the entirety of our business (only 25%), but we are being affected, and right before the Christmas period," commented Claudio D'Alba from Plantis Group, a company in Puglia specializing in fruit and vegetable exports.
"Orders are down to a minimum. We are missing those mixed vegetable orders typical of restaurants and even truffle sales have dropped by over 80%. Businesses are starting to have serious cash problems and this is affecting the entire distribution chain. We are considering whether to ship the produce or not, as some of the clients that have always been reliable may have payment problems."
"While orders from the H&R sector have drastically dropped, the foreign big retail chains saw an increase in the demand of Italian fruit and vegetables, at times compensating the losses. We are lucky because we are well-placed in various European countries. The most popular products with famous foreign chains are brassicas, aromatic herbs and a rich catalogue of vegetables. We are waiting for December (and the colder temperatures) to start with citrus fruit."