Despite the delayed start, due to the weather, the radicchio campaign is now in full swing and only the very late varieties are still missing. Production is at its peak, which led to a drop in prices, especially for those trading at a domestic level. Now they are barely enough to break even.

"We are in full production in a market with many producers and few buyers. Supply is very fragmented, just like it happens in many other sectors. What the Opera consortium is doing for pears should be recreated in other segments," reports Chiara Zuccari, sales manager for Primo Mattino.

The company's radicchio. (Archive photo)

"Prices have reached their limit, but it is still too soon to tell what will happen, especially considering radicchio consumption usually increases at Christmas. To avoid what happened last year, producers are looking abroad, though certifications are needed. Only the most organised can access those markets," explains the sales manager. The company exports to Germany, UK, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain.

"We are hoping for demand to get livelier (just like in Italy, demand abroad also increases around Christmas time). Only the Netherlands and Spain have started demanding Italian radicchio so far."