"After several months of stalling, consumption has picked up in recent weeks. This is by virtue of high temperatures that are abnormal for the period, encouraging the consumption of fresh, thirst-quenching produce such as fruits and vegetables. Farmers have been affected by the increase in raw materials; as a result, the planning of production cycles has been impacted, during a current climate of uncertainty characterized by the low purchasing power of families," said Paolo Mele at the head of OP Sa Marigosa and regional president of Confagricoltura Sardegna.
In photo, Paolo Mele at the head of OP Sa Marigosa and regional president of Confagricoltura Sardegna
OP Sa Marigosa, a producers' organization administered by Paolo Mele, is located in Riola Sardo (OR), and extends over a fertile area of about 800 hectares, located between Campidano, Medio-Campidano and Cagliari, where about 50 producers of the cooperative grow high-quality melons, watermelons and artichokes in open fields.
The farm specializes in the production of artichokes (particularly Spinoso di Sardegna DOP), produced in different varieties both as either fresh or processed. The latter includes processing the raw material using artisanal methods and low heat stress, producing various lines of creams and pickles made from PDO artichoke and other vegetables: seasoned artichoke, artichoke and bottarga, eggplant, courgette, sweet and sour spicy red bell pepper, thistle, asparagus, mushrooms, and chilies.
"We are commercializing tomato clusters and the classic honeydew melon, which we grow in greenhouses whose transplanted volumes have been reduced, as previously mentioned. The current temperatures, that are typical of August, make the melons particularly good. Therefore, they meet market demands for a good shelf life and high brix degree. Aroma and flavor are indeed the strengths of this fruit. Given the lower volumes at the moment, wholesale prices are sustained, with a range between €2.30 and €2.50/kg."
With regard to processed products, some of the top products-in addition to the Sardinian PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), there is the 100% Sardinian tomato puree, but also the new line of 100% wheat pasta Sa Marigosa.
"The processed segment continues to grow, especially for short supply chain productions with territorial connotations, but it is suffering from rising production costs, even more than the fresh produce segment. Everything has increased, including energy costs, packaging, transportation and even oil. As a result, there is a risk that businesses and entire production sectors will lose competitiveness and gradually exit the market. Increases in production costs for primary companies have become unsustainable; that is why the agricultural world is waiting for clarification from politicians to deal with the crisis caused by the energy emergency, exacerbated by the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine," concluded Paolo Mele.