"This is undoubtedly an abnormal year from a productive point of view due to climate change. The mild temperatures between October and January, in fact, hastened harvesting, leading to excessive supplies, low prices, and a lot of unsold produce," reports Alberto Nocera (in the photo), president of Agrieuropa in Terracina (Latina).
"Compared with last year, we registered a 20% increase in the sale of baby leaves. However, this has not led to an increase in turnover, as we actually lost 10% of the value. Average sales prices have, in fact, diminished, and 15% of the produce remained unharvested. Then there is also inflation, which is increasing production costs leading to heavy reductions when it comes to profit."
With its 350 hectares of baby leaves, including lamb's lettuce, spinach, baby spinach, and arugula, Agrieuropa guarantees the availability of these products throughout the season between November and May except for lamb's lettuce, which is available all year round.
Agrieuropa produces, processes, and packages vegetables in the heart of the Agro Pontino area in the Latina province (Terracina, San Felice Circeo, Sabaudia, and Pontinia municipalities) on 400 hectares, 303 of which with greenhouses plus 100 open fields.
"What is new is parsley roots, which we introduced two years ago. Although it is a niche product, as there are no large volumes, we are registering a lot of interest from Eastern countries. The produce is available between November and May in 250-gram and 350-gram bunches, in wooden or CPR crates."
Future objectives include the increase of our business volumes in Great Britain, for example - a new reference market for the company - and the introduction of new products such as bunching onions and celeriac.
"Nowadays, it is becoming complicated to be an agricultural entrepreneur as, with such high management costs, you risk bankruptcy by making the wrong investment. Even if you program production, you cannot forecast climate change causing an abundance or lacking production, so you cannot make it if you do not plan well. I believe times ahead will be very hard, so caution is needed: we must think about the choices to make and observe and study the markets carefully."
For more information:
Agrieuropa Soc. Coop. Agr.
S.S. 148 Pontina Km 97,700
04019 Terracina (LT) Italy
+39 0773 756158
+39 0773 756408