"The fluctuating temperatures of the last few days are not helping the marketing of some products that are currently suffering, such as courgettes and, to some extent, peppers. To this rather exhausting trend we have to add the arrival of cheap foreign produce, so much so that we are struggling to sell our harvests to the large-scale retail trade."
Antonio Morreale, administrator of the Italian Bio Hortus, presents a bleak picture, speaks of unfair competition.
Above, the prices of the wholesale market Mercato Vittoria as a reference point for the entire Italian sector.
"One must call a spade a spade. We are faced with goods that don't meet our general production criteria. I'm referring not only to the cultivation techniques, but also to the more ethical aspect of the issue, the manpower costs.
I don't want to point the finger at anyone in particular," adds the businessman, "but Germany has finally had a wake-up call on Spanish citrus fruits. It could be time for all European countries to start waking up and to better control the tracking of all the fruit and vegetable products, both European and non-European, that are distributed. We are harassed by all kinds of inspections and we are more than glad about it, because we have nothing to hide.
"Meanwhile, the transplanting of the cantaloupe melons continues and we will be ready in a month. I would like to remind international fruit and vegetable suppliers that the first European melons are harvested in Sicily. All the melons marketed before our harvest come from Africa. Consumers need to be informed about the processes of the crops so that they can make a considered choice," concluded Morreale.