Italy: Breeders, growers and markets need more dialogue

"Although the mass of fresh produce is available 12 months a year, there are segments that require something different," explains economist Gianluca Bagnara.

"I was in a meeting with a few Northern European buyers and they asked me if we had anything peculiar, some special products that can stand out from the crowd." 

According to Bagnara, Italian genetic research is renowned abroad, as the "taste" of Italian breeders is considered superior to those of researchers from other nations.

"It's clear that buyers mostly look for mass products but they need something different and/or connected to various territories for the most demanding consumers, and Italian productions sell well. Something similar happened recently in a fair in Turkey, as some operators from the Middle East asked about Italian supplies."

Bagnara then talked about research on a national level. "Everybody tries to integrate the chain downstream, i.e. between growers and consumers, but very few focus upstream on research, nurseries and growers."

Very few public resources have been destined to the Italian research system lately, and most programmes are commissioned by private companies and by POs in particular for what concerns the fresh produce sector. This way, research focuses on what the market really demands.

Gianluca Bagnara

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