"We sold more pumpkins and squash in August that in the first 20 days of September. Commercialization is currently slow, with Italian supplies that meet demand. The campaign of Lunga di Napoli from Scafati (Salerno) is practically over, but the Moscata Di Provenza variety is coming in from the Metaponto area (Maters) and Puglia," reports Giuseppe Ventura (in the photo below) from La Zucca Rossa, which operates at Centro agroalimentare di Napoli (CAAN)
"Produce currently comes from multiple origins, that is also why commercialization is slower. What is more, temperatures are still high and are not encouraging consumption as they should although, according to my experience, squashes have their fans, even in the summer!"
Prices are practically stable according to the wholesaler at €0.50-0.60/kg. "Quality is good but there were difficulties during harvesting, mainly due to the heavy rain followed by muggy heat that put both plants and producers under pressure. The volumes currently available are enough to meet the demand of our clients."
Another more general issue that is affecting the whole sector is the lack of labor. "There is a lot of work to do during harvesting, and our suppliers find it difficult to find personnel, which further complicates the situation."
Ventura believes the festive period between late October and early November will boost consumption.
Photos supplied by Giuseppe Ventura