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Northern Italy: mid-season update

31/08/2020 - Press release , François-Xavier Branthôme - 2020 Season - Lire en français
More than half of the quantities have been processed, and the Brix is satisfactory

On 26 August, a visit to the tomato processing industrial sector in northern Italy by the agricultural adviser of the Emilia-Romagna region Alessio Mammi provided an opportunity for an early assessment of the harvest, the delivery and the industrial processing of tomatoes.
The President of the Interbranch Organization of the tomato processing industry of northern Italy, Tiberio Rabboni, explained that on the basis of information received from processors and producers' organizations, more than 50% of the raw materials under contract have already been processed. Companies in the northern Italian basin (37 071 hectares in total, including 25 300 (68%) in Emilia-Romagna) have been able to work at a very satisfactory pace and manufacture a quality product with a Brix level of 4.99, which is above the usual average.

From left to right: Alessio Mammi, Tiberio Rabboni and Maria Chiara Cavallo

"The 2020 season – explained Rabboni – is proceeding satisfactorily thanks to correct and efficient planning of the planting programs and cultivated surfaces, as defined in the framework contract for the northern zone, according to the agreements between growers and processors in response to market needs. The general percentage of product delivered is in line with partners' forecasts and the averages of recent years. The same can be said for the Brix degree. In some limited local situations, agricultural production has experienced difficulties due to occasionally adverse weather conditions and the recurrence of some attacks of Ralstonia Solanacearum and red spider mites. Fortunately, these cases are numerically and quantitatively limited. In addition, in certain localized areas, the high temperatures that prevailed after 26 July subjected tomato crops to extreme conditions, causing the simultaneous ripening of the fruit whose harvest was scheduled for the following three weeks. This early ripening of tomatoes in the field made it objectively difficult for the growers to deliver all the ripe products to the processing companies, which, in order to meet agricultural demands, were operating for several days at their maximum production capacity. Therefore, in order to protect the growers affected by this climatic anomaly from the risk of serious loss of income, the IO, followed formally by the POs and the Emilia-Romagna regional authorities, asked the Ministry of Agriculture to activate the measure pertaining to the impossibility of carrying out the harvest, for which provision is made in the CMO for fruit and vegetables."

At the end of August, the Ministry of Agricultural Policies accepted the request and gave the green light to compensation for farmers affected by the exceptional weather conditions who will not be able to deliver their tomatoes to processing plants. The confirmation was given, during the meeting at the headquarters of the Pomodoro OI for northern Italy in Parma, by the regional councilor for agriculture of Emilia-Romagna Alessio Mammi in the presence of the President of the IO Tiberio Rabboni and representatives of the regional industry.
The ministry authorized, "exceptionally and within the limits of the current season, as part of the crisis prevention and management measures of the operational programs, the activation of the "non-harvest" clause for tomatoes grown in the open field, intended for industrial processing and subject to contracts concluded between producer organizations and processing industries." Emilia-Romagna authorities, in collaboration with other regions (Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto), activated the necessary procedures in record time.

Source: Northern Italy Pomodoro IO

Further details in the attached document (in Italian):
OI POMODORO Punto della campagna_20200827
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