On the occasion of the "Agricoltura Sottocosto" initiative, producers who are part of Cia-Agricoltori Italiani Ferrara took to the streets of Ferrara on July 16th with the objective of raising awareness of the fact that, while market prices have substantially remained stable over the past 20-30 years, production costs doubled or even tripled between 2021 and 2022.
Cia producers (Photo by: Cia-Agricoltori Italiani Ferrara Press Office)
The event aimed at condemning a speculative system that is not capable of promoting the products and work of the companies and which, over the past few years, has led to a decline of the cultivated areas of some products, and especially pears.
This anomaly concerns the entire chain and reaches consumers, who can pay up to 14-15 times the price at origin.
The figures reflect the crisis:
- Conference pears - practically the same quotation at origin of around €0.60-0.65 since 2008;
- Abate pears - the quotation was €0.75 in 1991 and €0.79 in 2020. Prices increased in 2021 only due to the almost total lack of produce, with an average price at origin of €0.62;
- potatoes - almost thirty years ago, in 1994, they were quoted by the Bologna Chamber of Commerce at €0.21, the same value we see in 2020;
- asparagus - has gone from the €2.21/kg of 1994 to €2.67 in 2020, with an average of €2.28;
- Fuji apples - from €0.52 in 2003 to €0.68 in 2020;
- carrots - from the €0,22 of 20 years ago to €0.09 this year.
Abate pears paid the same price of 30 years ago (Photo by: Cia-Agricoltori Italiani Ferrara press office)
"These levels are unacceptable. We producers have always denounced the fact that the prices paid for our products barely covered or were below production costs. So far, we have resisted because we love our job and we have allowed the agricultural system to stand. But it is no longer possible to go on like this. It is unthinkable for producers to obtain the same price for Abate pears as 30 years ago," commented Stefano Calderoni, president of Cia-Ferrara.
"Discounted agricultural diesel currently costs €1.40/liter compared to the €0.80 of two years ago. Urea, the most popular fertilizer, went from the €28/quintal of 2020 to almost €100 this year. Not to mention energy prices. Today, to grow one hectare of orchard, we spend triple what we used to for defense, anti-hail nets, anti-bug nets and insurance. Then there is the climate problem, which is also causing widespread drops in production."
Stefano Calderoni, president of Cia-Ferrara (Photo by: Cia-Agricoltori Italiani Ferrara Press Office)
"Politicians need to start dealing with this problem to give producers some concrete answer and monitor market anomalies more closely."
"First of all, they need to prolong the discount on diesel for at least the rest of 2022. Then they need to fully apply the Directive on unfair commercial practices, which would prevent those who purchase productions to pay them a price below the production cost."