Climate and shortage of workers are presenting a hefty bill in Sicily

"The season seems exceptional, with good prices for tomatoes, above average, and we should be glad about it, but unfortunately, things are not exactly like they are. The high prices, in fact, are due to a shortage of products. The causes are due to a number of contributing factors, including the ToBRFV and climatic conditions that have occurred in recent months," says Vittorio Gona of the producers' organization OP Alba Bio, who continues: "The after-effects of the anomalous weather from December 2022 to now, involving either too high or too low temperatures, however often unseasonably high, will store up heavy repercussions for us by the end of this month."

Vittorio Gona

"The reduced availability of goods will lead us to disappoint all our customers because we are at risk of not keeping up with our schedule," continued Gona. "Our partners are demanding more and more supplies, which we are trying to meet by all means, despite the now well-known difficulties due to a shortage of workers. Labor is, at the moment, the number one problem in agriculture, and we cannot see any solution to the problem with the policies currently in place on migration flows. Indeed, perhaps the situation is becoming worse. However, at this time, we are defining all the steps for the next agricultural season 2023/24, and, in the meantime, we are trying to find new solutions in time to overcome the hardships."

"Despite everything," said the manager, "the company's first six months of sales have been good, thanks to the dedication of all our employees, from production to sales, to administration and logistics. We expect, according to the defined programs, a growth of 10 percent by next season. A growth that we will attempt to expand together with new companies that would confer to us, embracing our idea of joining forces. On the other hand, they say, if you go faster by yourself, you go farther in a group."   

"OP Alba Bio at this time commercializes mainly bunch tomato, date, cherry, mini beef heart, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, leek, celery, piccadilly, cabbage, bell pepper, oval tomato, and colored cherry tomatoes. Producer prices are € 0.70/kg for courgettes € 2.50/kg for cherries, € 2.10/kg for peppers, € 0.80/kg for eggplants, € 2.00/kg for vine tomatoes, and € 0.90/kg for celery."

For more information:
Vittorio Gona
O.P. Coop. Alba Bio 
Cda Ferranta, SN
97010 Marina di Ragusa (RG) - Italy
Tel.: +39 0932 239003

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