The cry of distress of a Lucania-based producer

Price hikes on strawberries cultivated in southern Italy

Strawberries are the most important crop for the Terre della Luce OP, but this year farms are at risk of experiencing major commercial difficulties and not recouping production costs. We picked up a warning call from Alberto DeVincenzis, commercial manager of the aforementioned Lucania-based organization, which was founded in 2016 and now has more than 430 hectares and an ample selection of fruit and vegetables.

"Strawberry farming represents, in value, more than 80 percent of our turnover, with 140 total hectares invested in the previous campaign; however, these areas will see a slight decrease, due to price increases and uncertainty. It matters little if you are a structured business specializing in protected crops, the current economic crisis spares no one."

"The situation is dramatic. We are trying to support our members and reassure them of commercial guarantees throughout the 2022/23 season, establishing long-term relationships with old and new Italian and foreign customers, but it is certainly not easy in the current scenario. In strawberry cultivation, one of the most worrisome aspects and the one that weighs most heavily on the budgets of strawberry farms, is the cost of plastic (tarpaulins and mulch), which have risen significantly in recent months.

"What also alarms companies are the increased prices of fertilizers (+50 percent), as well as packaging (+20 percent), which is essential to make the product transportable and attractive. Fuel costs are also going up, but the biggest burden is the energy bill for cooling the fruit, which is essential to ensure commercial life on the shelves."

Alberto DeVincenzis

"While some producing members have decided to slightly reduce the hectares invested in strawberries to contain expenses and business risks, others are instead trying to save money on the purchase of thermoplastic films and mulching sheets, leaving the old plastics above and below the greenhouses and using the stubble technique. However, these are business choices that, if not well evaluated, could lead to higher expenses."

For more information:  
O.P. Terre della Luce Soc. Coop. Agricola
Via San Maurizio, 60 
75025 Policoro (MT)
(+39) 0835 18.52.977

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