Sales devoid of jolts

Chaotic prices for onions in northern Italy

Rich in vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B9 and C), mineral salts and other nutrients such as iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, courgette flowers seem to have found their place on the market, with satisfactory results for those who grow them. They are a refreshing and highly digestible niche product with low operating costs.

"The early onion of northern Italy is going through a difficult time. Demand is not high and since there are plenty of volumes available, this makes for difficult negotiations." In recent weeks, onions from Veneto have entered the market, further increasing supply. There is a need to balance the demands of the growers with those of the buyers, while in the midst it appears that the packers are always disappointing everyone."

Currently, the mid-late varieties are being harvested, while waiting for the winter onions that will be harvested in the north after 20 July. "There is a real risk of many undersized onions. The very high temperatures are stressing the plants and the onions are suffering, even if they are watered. The high temperatures are preventing the bulbs from growing, so the concern is that there will be a lot of product harvested below the classic '50s. I would advise growers to avoid scouring the sizes that are too small, because a lot of that product means big costs without any profit. So you better leave them in the field," said Marmocchi.

The late product will come on the market as soon as the early onions run out, but in this unusual year, it will not be easy to distinguish between new onions, stored onions, Italian or foreign product. Buyers will be looking for the best value for money, preferring good price rather than good quality.

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