Italy: Shaky start for the red chicory and lettuce season

The Italian red chicory season has already started, whereas lettuce is now going from open fields to greenhouse cultivation.

During an interview, comments were made by Cristiana Furiani, sales manager for Geofur and chairman of the PGI Verona Red chicory Consortium, and an expert from the lettuce seed sector.

"The weather is quite warm, so red chicory is ripening early. This means there is a lot of produce available and prices are so low we cannot cover costs," explains Cristiana.

Cristiana Furiani.

In addition, sales are slow due to the economic crisis and the fact that warm temperatures do not favour consumption. "On top of this, Northern Europe has a lot of produce still available as temperatures are still high."

The only positive note is the excellent quality of the chicory: "warm and damp days and cold nights mean we have big grades with a deep red colour. Now we just need better prices."

The expert added that "open field harvesting is over in Northern Italy. Unfortunately, the warm weather means transplants are overlapping and we are facing the risk of oversupply, which would drive prices down."

"The situation in southern greenhouses seems more under control, also because less early transplants were carried out. We hope temperatures will go down this week, otherwise there's the risk we will have low prices just like during the previous campaign."

OP Geofur
Via Gallese, 17
37045 Legnago (VR)
Tel.: (+39) 0442 641344
Fax: (+39) 0442 641426

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