"Overproduction, bad summer weather in areas of high consumption, limited demand from abroad and the development of new competing acreages in Eastern Europe are among the factors that have caused the current watermelon and melon crisis, which is showing up as a drastic drop in prices and recurrent and prolonged advertising campaigns by many large retail chains.
"Everything we made from May to the end of July has disappeared with the arrival of August, a month in which these typical summer products should normally sell out in no time. Instead, things didn't go as planned. The drop in sales was significant," said Salvatore Lotta, Sales Director of O.P. Agricola Campidanese.
"Even structured businesses like ours have been impacted and are still suffering. We are used to processing and marketing between 300 and 500 tons of produce every day, but we have not been able to keep these volumes constant in the last month. When there are 5-6 varieties of watermelon and other melons on the fruit and vegetable shelves, it is not only confusing for the consumer, but also creates the risk of compromising high-quality produce, especially if it is sold at prices lower than the cost of production. All of this is happening while we are struggling with rising commodity prices."
"The commercial situation for watermelons and melons is unchanged, regardless of the variety. European customers, especially from the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, have already reduced their orders and the situation is similar in the Italian markets. There is a risk that produce will remain unsold, especially if the weather situation in many countries/regions continues to show temperatures below the seasonal average."
“As a producers' organization, we are expected to close with watermelons in about 15 days, while we plan to continue with the netted melons until the end of September and even well into October with the Piel de Sapo (Majores and Corallo) varieties. However, a turnaround in sales is necessary. The quality of the products is very good, but we would need the same quantities every day."
O.P. Agricola Campidanese will be present at Macfrut 2021 in Hall D5, Stand 115.