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Calabrese (OP Fonteverde): "A year marked by high price increases".

Courgette and bell pepper season kicks off in Sicily

The first green courgettes and peppers from the Fonteverde growers' association in Ispica, Italy, are on the market. Like many other companies in the supply chain, Fonteverde is also dealing with the ever-increasing prices of raw materials. The slowdown in the flow of goods in the main Chinese ports is weighing heavily.

Carmelo Calabrese

"The 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 seasons are strongly marked by the increase in production costs. Iron, plastic and fertilizers are at the top of the list. The price of nitrogen fertilizers has even doubled and the worst thing is that for some products, such as potassium, there is no certainty of their availability for 2022," said Carmelo Calabrese.

The question is whether these increases will be offset by parallel increases in fruit and vegetable sales.

"We started harvesting courgettes and peppers in polytunnels 12 days ago. Both varieties are in excellent conditions and the first harvests confirm the high quality. The courgette is presently not showing excessive presence of the New Delhi virus, while in the case of the bell pepper we have increased the use of beneficial insects against spider mites, thrips and white flies. This has allowed us to significantly reduce the use of plant protection products."

Photo taken in the pre-Covid era

"In terms of sales, we are still in the early stages and there will be fluctuations. The price for zucchini is about €0.80 per kilo, a price that is lower than that of the Spanish crop, which is offered at €0.60 per kilo. For peppers, on the other hand, the situation is more acceptable, with a price between €1.00 and €1.10 per kilo."

Another important reference of Fonteverde is carrots, whose sowing is almost complete. The harvest of this prized crop begins in early February and ends in mid-June.

Aerial view of Fonteverde's headquarters

"The sowing of our carrots is almost complete. The weather has been good to us this season. We had 100 mm of rainwater in a few days, falling gradually, which was very welcome, as it benefited the soil. All phases of cultivation have been running smoothly so far and the crops are already sprouting from the soil in some plots."

For more information:
Carmelo Calabrese
OP Consorzio Fonteverde
Società Consortile Agricola a r.l.
C.da Fontanazza s.n.
97014 Ispica (RG) Italy
+39 0932 951484
patrizia@fonteverde.com
www.fonteverde.com


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