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The most difficult year ever in Italy

28/10/2022 - Press release - 2022 Season
The 2022 processing season in Italy closed with 5.5 million tonnes of tomatoes processed, a 10% drop compared with the record results of 2021. For Anicav, this was "the most difficult year ever" and the organization is making plans to protect the product which is the emblem of “Made in Italy” globally. 
ANICAV's President Marco Serafini: "We strongly ask politics to play its role to the full in order to create the conditions for development and growth. We are here to do our part!"

The results of a campaign marked by difficulties and price rises and a series of proposals for action to protect the entire supply chain will be submitted to the attention of the newly installed italian government. These are the main topics discussed during the Public Assembly of ANICAV, the largest association representing tomato processing companies in the world, held in Parma during the annual appointment Il Filo Rosso del Pomodoro (The Red Thread of Tomatoes), now in its tenth edition.
"Competitive strategies in support of a leading supply chain is the theme chosen as the leitmotif of this day. - declares Marco Serafini, President of ANICAV - It is necessary that our sector, which represents, in terms of quality and size, an excellence of the Italian agri-food industry, assumes a strategic position in the sector's development policies and makes its voice heard incisively. This is why, we considered it essential to define a programmed agenda, to be shared with all parts of the supply chain, from the farming world to distribution, and to be submitted to the new government. The critical aspects of the sector and the solutions to overcome them should be highlighted, with the aim of safeguarding and relaunching a 'record' supply chain that has always represented the emblem of Italian-made food in the world."
The 2022 campaign in numbers
In the processing campaign that has just ended, around 5.5 million tonnes of tomatoes were processed in Italy, a reduction of 10% compared to last year's record results.  A figure that substantially reflects that of the 65,180 hectares invested (-8.5% compared to 2021), of which 37,024 in the North and 28,156 in the Centre-South. Specifically, in the Central South Basin, the companies processed 2.59 million tonnes - a decrease of 12% compared to 2021 - while in the North Basin, the final processed amounted to 2.89 million tonnes (-6.3% compared to last year). 
Agricultural yields were good in both production basins, despite the drought in the North basin and the high temperatures that caused quite a few difficulties, especially in the early part of the harvest. On the industrial yield front, on the other hand, there was a deterioration with the need to use larger quantities of raw material to be able to guarantee our high quality standards.
This figure is part of a general reduction situation at European level (-17.6%) and worldwide (-4.9%), with Spain and Portugal reducing production by 29%. The exception was China, which, with 6.2 million tonnes, recorded an increase of 29.2% after the drop in 2021.

Italy, the world's third largest processor of tomatoes after the USA and not far behind China, but the leading processor of derivatives destined directly for final consumption, accounts for 14.8% of world production (equal to 37.3 million tonnes) and 56.5% of European processed tomatoes, with a total turnover of 4 billion Euro. 
"We imagined that this processing campaign would be characterised by great difficulties, but the reality was far worse than our expectations. - comments Giovanni De Angelis, Director General of ANICAV - As we have repeatedly denounced in recent months, the sector has literally been brought to its knees by the increase in production costs that are completely out of control. In particular, the increase in energy costs was a blow that was really hard to absorb for a highly seasonal system like ours. The incidence of this expense on the companies' profit and loss account has grown exponentially, from 4% to 22%. This is, to say the least, a complex situation that needs the full attention of the new government. Our hope is that this is a contingent situation and not a structural one, even if the elements at our disposal lead us to have many concerns for the future."
The policy agenda 
From the round table, which saw the main players in the private and cooperative tomato processing industry as protagonists, came a series of proposals for action that will have to be included in a programmatic agenda to be shared with the entire supply chain. 

With regard to the complex relationship with the agricultural world, the need emerged to start an analysis of agricultural production costs in the various areas of the country to understand whether there are problems of organisational and management inefficiency or whether, instead, it is a matter of mere speculative behaviour, and the need for a redefinition of the perimeter of competence and the operational model at the basis of inter-professional relations. 
Other topics of discussion included the increasing difficulty in recruiting seasonal labour and the lack of specialised technical profiles, the importance of investing in research and development and in promotion, valorisation and protection activities, as well as the need for business support. 
"Funding measures are needed for interventions to support the industrial system and the entire sector that aim to improve agricultural production and ethical and environmental sustainability.- President Serafini concludes, The PNRR, in particular, could be an opportunity to support and implement important infrastructure interventions concerning the reservoirs in the two production basins to address water supply problems, sustainable mobility, the port and back-port system to support internationalisation, and the improvement of living and working conditions for farm workers. Our hope is that the new government, which will have to lead the country in a particular and critical historical moment, can give concrete answers to our companies. We are there and we will be there, ready to play our part, as always."

Source: ANICAV press release 
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