"After fluctuating prices during the strawberry campaign, apricots, peaches and nectarines started well in mid-May, and the trend continued in June and July, thanks to lower supplies than in 2012 and a perfect timing between the produce from South and North Italy. From the beginning of August though, prices dropped even by 15 cents in a week, and continued to drop up until September."

This is the comment of Giancarlo Minguzzi (in the photo below), chairman of Fruitimprese Emilia-Romagna and of the PO consortium in Alfonsine.

"It was due to the drop in quantities in August and to the fact that produce from various parts of Italy - South, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Piedmont - was available, so there was competition at a domestic level and it was difficult to coordinate supplies and prices. On top of this, other products like grapes, plums, pears and summer apples were also available. Therefore, either you supply high quality peaches and nectarines or you have to be happy with discount store prices."

"It must also be said that the special offers of retailers, which sell at prices that are too low, contribute to low market prices. On the other hand, producers must renovate varieties, especially for peaches and nectarines that are harvested from August onwards."

Talking about the autumn campaign, he said that "the prices of apples and pears started well thanks to an empty market, so they are quite profitable for producers. There should not be an overproduction of kiwis, as quantities should remain more or less as those of last year, though with a better quality, which we look forward to."

The Ethoxyquin case and the Psa menace
According to Giancarlo Minguzzi, the Ethoxyqin question is still uncertain. "There are alternative systems like Dynamic controlled atmosphere - i.e. with low concentrations of oxygen - and Smart Fresh - a formula that stops ethylene from forming - against pear post-harvesting scalding, but they are not that efficient. In addition, Spain and Portugal admitted to using Ethoxyquin and if the Ministry of Health doesn't allow it, we will be disadvantaged." 

"Damages caused by Psa mainly affect yellow kiwis and are limited on Haywards but, at the moment, the production is in line with previous years."

"As Fruitimprese, we are happy that a government crisis was avoided, as it would have destroyed our economy. The meetings operators had at Macfrut with minister De Girolamo enabled them to talk about our problems and opportunities, especially as regards exports. The minister undertook to pressurize our embassies abroad so as to obtain less bureaucracy and spread the knowledge of our products."