Italy is the most important producer of Tomatoes From Europe, the second in the world after California. 15% of the world’s total tomato production comes from our country’s crops, with an annual sales rate of nearly 4 billion euroslargely derived from product exports around the world.
booming tomato sauce market, Excellence Made in Italy, However, it is going through a particularly difficult moment: for the harvest already tested by the severe drought that hit Italy, a serious threat is the increase in production prices, which threatens to wipe out an entire sector.
Italian tomatoes in crisis
Italian tomatoes in crisis: according to estimates ColdirettiThe harsh weather conditions of this hot summer will lead to an 11% reduction in tomato yield, while forecasts ofAmitumthe association that brings together the professional organizations of therapists in the Mediterranean region, awards production decreased more than one million tons.
If in 2021 6 million tons of tomatoes were harvested in Italy, making Italy the second producer in the world in 2021, then this year there is a risk of no more than 5.4 million.
There is also a fear of crop abandonment: Confagricultura And the CIA – Italian Farmers’ Union They expressed their concern in this regard: the areas planted with tomatoes could even be halved, from 15 to 30%.
The primary culprit for the tomato crisis is certainly the climate: Heat and water shortages cause crops to suffer. As stated in the study provided by Coldiretti on the occasion of the start of the tomato harvest – which takes place between the end of July and mid-September – “The climate has decimated the crop The symbolic product of the Mediterranean diet.
Climatic conditions have “accelerated ripening processes and endangered production in the field”, which has reduced the yield of tomatoes by 11%, that is, those intended for pulps, purees, sauces and concentrates.
Price Crisis: The Tomato Case
It should be added to the climate crisis price rush Production, which severely affects the entire agricultural sector: Italian companies today have to face significant increases ranging from + 170% fertilizer to + 129% for diesel, and it includes the entire supply chain – from cultivation to processing.
Glass, for example, costs 30% more than last year, cardboard 45%, tin cans (not available) now cost 60% more, while plastic in some cases approaches +70%.
To the increase in materials must be added increases in road, container and sea freight, which – thanks to the delicate international situation – are record increases according to Coldiretti’s analysis. 400% to 1000%.
Today, in practice, The packaging costs more than the product It contains: In the tomato sauce bottle “8% is the recognized value of the tomato”, the rest is the costs of industrial production, materials and advertising. And the increase in prices, starting with gas prices, cannot but burden the pockets of consumers.
Moti: “Urgent intervention is required”
“This is a very delicate moment in the tomato processing industry,” he explains. Francesco MutiCEO of the family business, Among the Italian tomato franchisesConducted by the newspaper “Corriere”.
“The whole group runs between July 20 and September 20,” he explains, “we can’t slow down, spread the activity over longer periods, and companies like ours are receiving the most steep gradients in gas rises“.
This means that Italian companies, a premium sector in the country worth $4 billion, “will bear the additional costs that will inevitably extend to the entire supply chain.”
We need an emergency interventionAccording to Moti, “refreshments for companies, especially those related to transforming tomatoes that have only two months to harvest and process them, now risk being overwhelmed by price increases.”
If it is very easy to note a file Price rush in your cartUnderstanding what higher gas prices mean for a large industry can be more complex. In the case of a large company like Mutti, the entrepreneur explains, i gas costs “They made up just under 2% of the total, they went up in 2021 to 5%, and now they’re around 20%.”
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