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Italy: agreement reached for the South Central Basin

01/07/2022 - François-Xavier Branthôme - 2022 Season
EUR 130 for round tomatoes, EUR 140 for oblong tomatoes + EUR 30 for organic

The reference prices applicable in 2022 are EUR 130 per tonne for round tomatoes and EUR 140 for oblong ones. A supplement of EUR 30 per tonne has been agreed for organic production.

On June 28, after long negotiations, the Anicav, the National Association of Vegetable Canning Industries and the Producers' Organizations of the south-central Italian basin reached a framework agreement in order to manage the 2022 tomato processing season that is about to start. The Producers' Organizations made the announcement informally on the evening of June 28. Gennaro Velardo, coordinator of the agricultural stakeholders, gave AgroNotizie the main points of the price agreement: "For this processing season, we have obtained from our industrial partners in the southern basin an average reference price of EUR 140 per tonne for oblong tomatoes, while an agreement has been reached for round tomatoes at EUR 130 per tonne."

Velardo also commented: "When an agreement is reached, it is always a good thing, because the system is useful to the industry. Perhaps we are all a little unhappy, though not so much because we were hoping to get more, but because of the ever-increasing costs for energy and fertilizer. With good reason, we also understand the difficulties of the industrial processing sector, which today must face the cost increases for agricultural raw materials as well as for goods and services."

"As agricultural stakeholders," added Velardo, "at this stage, we should state our concern about the difficulty of finding labor, which is essential to tomato harvesting operations, a problem in relation to which the 2022 Flow Decree adopted by the government has so far not led to all the expected results."

 Anicav Director Giovanni De Angelis explained that the premium for organically grown tomatoes "was set at 30 euros per tonne, to be added to the respective average reference prices for oblong and round tomatoes."

De Angelis confirmed the prices communicated by Mr. Velardo, which have resulted from long negotiations that had stumbled, until recently, on the last offer made by the Anicav for an average reference price of EUR 125 for round tomatoes and EUR 135 for oblong tomatoes: "To avoid further negotiations on our position, which already endorsed an increase of 30 euros on the base price for round and oblong tomatoes compared to the previous agricultural year," explained De Angelis to AgroNotizie, "we accepted the request of agricultural partners for a new increase of 5 euros per tonne, in exchange for a review of the sanctions to be applied to foreign bodies."

Already last year, negotiations were unblocked by carrying over 2020 prices for oblong and round tomatoes, with an increase of 40% for organic production and a reduction of the deductible on foreign bodies from 2 to 1%.
"Instead, for this 2022 campaign," stated De Angelis, "we have revised upwards the scale that relates the percentage of foreign bodies present in the fruit to penalties." The table presented by the director of the Anicav, which is part of the annexes of the framework program agreement for the 2022 processing tomato season for Italy's southern basin, presents the details of this new scale.
Another new feature: the method for implementing the grading table on green or rotten tomatoes delivered and the related penalties (unchanged from last year) has also included an additional opportunity for agricultural operators to get shipments accepted that may have previously been rejected.
From this year on, the processing industry has the right to accept these shipments by applying a flat 2% penalty, even if one and/or two of the maximum limits set for foreign bodies (5%), rotten tomatoes (5%) and green tomatoes (6%) are reached or if the same limits set by the grading table for green or rotten tomatoes are exceeded, without prejudice to the corresponding reduction in percentage of weight. The 2% penalty percentage is to be considered in addition to the maximum reduction percentages provided by the two grading tables on foreign bodies and rotten or green fruit.

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