Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

growers upset for low cucurbit prices in Sicily

Italy: "We can't go on like this"

A group of small entrepreneurs from the Vittoria area have reported that cucumber, courgette and aubergine prices are dropping.

Above: the group of small Sicilian producers who have reported the low prices 

Everything seemed to go well before the festive period with the exception of cucumbers, whose prices remained low throughout the season. Tomato prices remained high, especially the smaller ones which exceeded €2/kg. But a few distinctions need to be made...

In the photo above: cucumbers paid €0.20/kg, below production costs.

Small producers can't take it anymore
"We can't go on like this. Crops can cost up to €5 per square metre and, if cucumbers sell at €0.20, we make €1.50 per square metre with a loss of €3.50. Prices for films, plantlets and everything else continue to soar, adding to the taxes we need to pay," explains Rosario Rinaudo.

Interview with the producers.

Dropping prices

Dark green courgettes and aubergines have also dropped to €0.20/kg for good quality but haven't exceeded €0.60/kg for extra quality (courgettes). The reasons behind these sudden changes are varied and definitely have to deal with the structural crisis within the sector, starting with the high production costs.

The lack of organisation among small producers is definitely one of the reasons, but essentially it is the harsh law of the market that prevails.

Above: supermarket prices in the Ragusa province. Photo taken on 13/01/2018

Another reason is the weather: prices are higher when it's colder but, unfortunately, temperatures haven't been very low so far. In addition, there is quite a lot of produce available.

Above: prices in another supermarket in the Ragusa province. Photo taken on 13/01/2018

Analyses don't solve the problem
"We know what drives prices down, but knowing it doesn't solve our problems, especially for people like me who focus on cucurbits. It's even harder when we see the gap between production and supermarket prices - it's unfair to us as well as to final consumers."

Above: prices in a supermarket in the Ragusa province. Photo taken on 13/01/2018

The situation was actually the opposite one year ago: dark green courgettes sold at over €4/kg.

Publication date: 1/19/2018



Other news in this sector:

2/21/2018 UK: “CAP hasn’t worked for food economy or natural environment”
2/21/2018 UK: Possible outcomes for food trade with EU after Brexit
2/21/2018 India: Tomato prices Madhya Pradesh plummeting
2/20/2018 "Food and farming can power Britain post-Brexit"
2/20/2018 Algeciras connected to Australia for the first time
2/20/2018 Spain: 57% of government's circular economy budget for water topics
2/19/2018 “Market for illuminated tomatoes under more pressure than last year”
2/19/2018 Shorter travel time because of diminishing Polar ice
2/19/2018 Can someone turn that off? We're trying to sleep here!
2/19/2018 EU: Policy recommendations regarding position of fruit and vegetable sector
2/16/2018 Spring Festival approaches, cucumber prices rise
2/16/2018 World population growth 1 July 2016 - 1 July 2017
2/16/2018 Spanish ports increase horticultural products traffic by 10%
2/15/2018 US (MI): Online tool offers exporting intel to food and ag businesses
2/15/2018 China: Exports of Xinjiang vegetables to Pakistan
2/15/2018 Vietnam: Fruit, vegetable exports up 37% in January
2/15/2018 Ontario and Canada mark Agriculture Day with landmark agreement
2/15/2018 "Trump’s budget proposal is bad news for farmers markets"
2/14/2018 CAN (BC): Minimum wage up again
2/14/2018 Europe: Applications open for EIT Food Accelerator Network