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Italy: Lower turnover for cherry tomatoes from Pachino, all bets are on salad tomatoes

It was a difficult season for cherry tomatoes because of the high production costs and the divide between prices at origin and final ones. "Unfortunately, this year the trend was not positive," says Salvatore Chiaramida (in the photo), director of the Consorzio di tutela Igp pomodoro di Pachino. "Production costs have increased whereas turnovers decreased. But what is really surprising is the difference between the initial and the final price. We can't do anything about it and we are trying to find some solutions for the producers. We are trying to arrange the various production and sale phases better, but it's a long and difficult process."

4 million kilos of PGI cherry tomatoes were sold in the 2012/2013 season. "There is still a lot of produce that, despite having the right characteristics, is sold without the brand. PGI salad tomatoes (especially Costoluto and Marinda) should increase during the next campaign- we expect to sell around 1 million kilos of them and we hope that retailers will also collaborate as they do not always help those making sacrifices."

In addition, there are the usual problems: "Too many people still consider 'Pachino' a synonym rather than a toponym. What we tried to do, also during the latest Macfrut, was to make people understand the distinction between PGI Pachino tomatoes and common ones. It was not possible to present the other famous product from Pachino, salad tomatoes, because they are usually available between November and May, but I am sure it would have been much appreciated." 

Finally, a comment on the event: "Macfrut is definitely interesting, very well organised and it will stand the test of time. It is not to be missed both because of the conferences and because of the meeting opportunities. Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement, so that it can be considered an international trade fair just like Fruit Logistica or Fruit Attraction. They should work on having exhibitors from different areas and on making meetings lead to something more. At the moment, for example, I would add a 'platform' working the whole year round, so that it does not all end in a few days' time."

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