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Italy: Wholesale markets more profitable

Mercato di Cesena has performed an analysis to assess the advantages of selling produce through wholesale markets rather than to other facilities. It did so as a way to support the invitation made to young producers urging them to choose market structures.

Over the past few weeks, Mercato di Cesena's data processing centre analysed the remunerations for strawberries, asparagus, artichokes and peas comparing them to those from other channels.

Domenico Scarpellini at the Cesena wholesale market

"Producers who chose our facility are pleased. Let's consider strawberries. The average price was €2.92/kg against the €1,75 of other channels, i.e. 67% more. As for asparagus, the difference was 48% and it was 32% for peas and 127% for artichokes. Even deducting the packaging cost (between 20 and 30 eurocents), the different is significant," explains President Domenico Scarpellini.

Strong strategies must be implemented to make an income if one is selling to wholesale markets directly. "It's a short chain. In addition, high quality is actually recognised and well paid in markets. First category produce with good grades that tastes good does well."

Over the past few months, older producers left their places and new ones came in. The average age has dropped and many chose to sell through the market.

Some strategies have also been adopted to favour new arrivals, such as free slots for the first two months or contributions for new packaging.

October was rather lively. Of course the most popular products were seasonal ones such as apples, pears and various vegetables. But there are also exotic fruit and mountain productions such as strawberries grown soil-less in protected crops.

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