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Italy: drought cuts 1 bottle out of 10 according to Coldiretti

27/07/2022 - Press release - 2022 Season
Farewell this year to more than one bottle of tomato puree in ten with the drought and the scorching temperatures that have cut the tomato harvest by 11% from the sauce destined for pulps, purees, sauces and concentrates with a national production estimated to decrease to 5.4 million tonnes. This is what emerges from the Coldiretti study presented at the start of the tomato harvest in Italy, in Casalmaggiore (Cremona) in via Staffolo, at the Assagri farm. An appointment that this year - underlines Coldiretti - starts early due to the climatic conditions that have accelerated the maturation processes and put at risk the productions in the field.
The climate - underlines Coldiretti - has therefore decimated the harvest of the symbolic product of the Mediterranean diet which this year is actually affected in all its components with the wheat destined for the production of pasta estimated to decrease by about 15% even if of excellent quality while great difficulties are also expected for the national extra virgin olive oil with the olive trees suffering from the lack of rainfall, without forgetting that in the areas most affected by heat and drought, fruit and vegetables are burning in the fields with damage up to 70 %.
At a national level - explains Coldiretti - the tomato for the Made in Italy sauces, for passata, peeled and concentrates is grown on about 70 thousand hectares from north to south of the country with Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Campania and Puglia which are the main producers involving a supply chain in which they operate - points out Coldiretti - 6,500 agricultural companies, about 90 processing companies and employing 10,000 workers, for a turnover of 3.7 billion euros of which more than half achieved thanks to exports abroad, up by 5% in the first four months of 2022 despite the war in Ukraine. Italy - points out Coldiretti - represents 15% of the world harvest, and is the first European tomato producer ahead of Spain and Portugal and the second globally immediately after California.
The Made in Italy sauce - continues Coldiretti - is driven by the success of the Mediterranean diet in the world but is threatened by the explosion of production costs in the wake of international speculations, the effects of the conflict unleashed by the Russians and international tensions on raw materials. Italian farms are fighting on all fronts against increases which - Coldiretti underlines - range from + 170% of fertilizers to + 129% for diesel, glass costs more than 30% more than last year, but there is also a 15% increase for tetrapack, 35% for labels, 45% for cardboard, 60% for tinplate cans, up to 70% for plastic, according to Coldiretti analysis. Road transport has also increased by 25% to which is added - continues Coldiretti - the worrying situation of container and sea freight costs, with increases ranging from 400% to 1000%.
The increases in energy prices - underlines Coldiretti - have a devastating impact on the supply chain, from the field to the table. Direct impact in the farms - explains Coldiretti - includes fuels for tractors and transport, while indirect impact includes those deriving from plant protection products, fertilizers and the use of materials such as plastic, glass or tetrapack. On the other hand, the food sector requires - continues Coldiretti - large quantities of energy, especially heat and electricity, for the processes of production, processing, conservation of products, operation of machines and air conditioning of production and work environments.
A dramatic scenario in which - explains Coldiretti - you pay more for the bottle than for the tomato contained in it: in a 700 ml bottle of tomato sauce for sale on average for 1.3 euros over half (53%) - highlights the analysis of Coldiretti - is the margin of commercial distribution with promotions, 18% is the industrial production costs, 10% is the cost of the bottle, 8% is the value recognized for tomatoes, 6% for transport, 3 % to the cap and the label and 2% for advertising.
This situation is actually in line with many other products since on average for every euro spent by consumers on fresh and processed food products, just 15 cents go on average to farmers but if we consider only the processed products, the remuneration in the countryside even drops to just 6 cents, according to a Coldiretti analysis from Ismea data.
"Responsibility is needed on the part of the entire food supply chain with agreements between agriculture, industry and distribution to ensure a more equitable distribution of value, even fighting unfair practices in compliance with the law that prohibits buying food below production costs", says the president of Coldiretti Ettore Prandini in underlining "the need for resources to support the sector in a moment of emergency, between war and drought, which must push the country to defend its food sovereignty".
In the shopping cart of Italians, among tomato products, passata are in first place - concludes Coldiretti - followed by pulp, peeled tomatoes and cherry tomatoes and finally concentrates, for an average of 20 kilos per family.

Source: Coldiretti
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