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Agricola Zito

Italy: French potatoes in Sicilian supermarkets

"We are working with Agata potatoes imported from France and destined to Sicilian supermarkets and our vegetable campaign will start in 10-15 days' time. We supply 25-30 tons of potatoes a week on average. We are trying to increase volumes but at the moment it is not possible because demand is scarce despite the low prices," explains Tonino Zito, sales manager for Soc. Agr. Zito & Co. s.r.l.

"We work with non-Sicilian potatoes 8 months a year. Our main objective is quality, so French potatoes are an obvious choice. Competition is fierce in our sector and we cannot reach the same levels with the domestic produce.

According to Tonino, there have been a few rotting problems this year due to rain in July and high temperatures, but "overall, the produce is excellent."

"The vegetable campaign will start in ten days' time. We will start with Roman lettuce in late October and will continue with fennel, celery, cauliflower and cabbage in November." 

Roman lettuce.

"We mainly work on the Sicilian and Southern Italy market, as transport costs to Northern Italy are high and the produce does not arrive fresh. We do have a niche new potato and lemon market though."

Left: fennel; right: cauliflower.

"Up to 15 years ago, we sent Roman lettuce in Belgium and Switzerland through Milan, but it is no longer possible. Some areas in Apulia and Campania have organised themselves so well that they cut us out The same goes for kohlrabi, which we used to send to Germany. Now they produce it in Latina and, although production costs are higher they still pay less for transport."

Tonino Zito - Sales manager
Cell.: +39 348 4059221
ZITO & CO. s.r.l. soc.agr.
viale Epipoli 200
96100 Siracusa (SR) - Sicily - Italy
Tel.: +39 (0)931 791600
Fax: +39 (0)931 791750
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