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News

North Italy: Farmers denounce processors rigidity

22/03/2023 - Press release , François-Xavier Branthôme - 2023 Season
 After a promising start in the early days of December, the negotiations between the processing industries and the producer organisations for processing tomatoes in the Northern Italian basin, which were abruptly interrupted on 20 January, resumed with a meeting on 17 March, which, however, registered a substantial, and worrying, further deadlock.

This was announced by the Agricultural Table for Industrial Tomatoes in Northern Italy, made up of all the Producers' Organisations and the sector's trade union representatives (Coldiretti, Confagricoltura and CIA).

The industrial side,” says the Agricultural Table, “has reiterated the offer already on the table in January, without hinting at significant, and worthy of consideration, margins for improvement. In doing so, it unjustifiably and surprisingly ignored what had happened in the meantime at an international level, where our main competitor countries had granted price increases of up to more than 50 per cent on the agricultural raw material for the year 2022. But above all, they ignored the demands of our agricultural producers, aimed at obtaining an updated remuneration with the significant increase in the production costs of the crop".

"We are surprised to witness once again the usual reluctance on the part of the industry to recognise the right remuneration of the raw material to the agricultural side," comments the Agricultural Table, "almost as if it were a secondary subject in the value chain and not, as it is in fact, the first and irreplaceable factor between the existence and non-existence of the chain itself. There is no point in describing as an 'act of responsibility' the 'recognition' of price increases of 20% this year or 40% in the last two years, when many production costs for farmers have almost doubled, and even less is it useful to fear serious consequences on consumer price lists, since the incidence of the cost of agricultural raw materials on finished products is minimal, since it oscillates around 15%.

In firmly rejecting the serious and unjustified accusation of 'speculative' behaviour, the Agricultural Table, in the interest of the supply chain of which it is the backbone, hopes that the parties will quickly find their way back to an agreement that preserves the competitiveness of the sector, the true jewel in the crown of Italian products.

Finally, the Agricultural Table invites farmers to assess well the price prospects that are emerging, in relation to the production costs of the crop, also in the light of the considerable value and financial cost of crop advances, weighing up the consequent choices
”.

Source: Press release from the Agricultural Table for Industrial Tomatoes in Northern Italy 
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