"In order to meet our partner demands, we are always looking for products that can be appreciated by final consumers. We focus on flavor and high quality and this is why we are popular on the international market," explains Vittorio Gona, president of the Italian AlbaBio cooperative. 

Vittorio Gona

The market
"Despite the fact that Christmas is getting closer, consumption is not peaking like it used to do a few years ago. December is no longer the month it used to be. The situation will probably get livelier a couple of days before Christmas, but nothing to write home about. Then, as usual, sales will drop in January and we are hoping they will pick up later in the month."

"We have started with a good production of cherry tomatoes with interesting Brix levels above average. As planned, with increased our production volumes and all our range has good quotations. Eggplants, for example, sell at €1.20/kg, zucchini at €2.30 and round tomatoes at €2.00. We were hoping for an increase in demand due to the excellent production, but it is not happening."

Production, competition and (missing) rules
"However, when we speak about excellent production, it does not mean there were no problems. The weather was disastrous during the past week and the damage caused will affect the produce harvested in March." 

"As for the market, we need regulations for the relationship between producers and big retail chains. It seems to me that the trend is to have high-quality products with a long shelf-life and in biodegradable packaging but sold at a price we would normally see towards the end of the season. Minister for Agriculture Teresa Bellanova is right when she says we need to 'restore the dignity of our productions.' Unfortunately, in the agricultural world, there are many people trying to harvest from trees they never planted."

The virtuosity of the Spaniards and the self-esteem of the French
"I thought I had seen everything and I thought our Spanish friends were a step ahead of us, but actually they are well ahead of us. We should take them as an example, especially since one of the largest Spanish cooperatives is about to open one of its branches over here. Of course I think it is strange that they are investing in Italy where agriculture is not doing well, but they are good and I do not believe they are just looking to sell Spanish produce."

"As for the French, what everyone likes is their increasing demands to purchase local products that are also safe and of high quality. We would like associations and institutions to help us promote Italian products so that we can raise the awareness of our fellow citizens when it comes to local productions."

O.P. Coop. Alba Bio 
Cda Ferranta, SN
97010 Marina di Ragusa (RG) - Italy
Tel.1: +39 932 239003
Tel.2: +39 3357856242 (sales office)
Fax: +39 932 616014
Email: info@gruppoalbabio.it
Website: www.gruppoalbabio.it