Italy’s fruit sector has sounded the alarm: there is a shortage of workers, from the fields to the warehouse. The measures that the Italian government are taking to prevent migrants entering the country are hurting the agricultural sector which for so long has depended on the flexibility these workers provide. From the north to the south of the country, the situation is the same.
Labour shortage hits Italian agriculture
Italian wholesalers found to be falsely labelling fruit “Origin France”
A scandal has erupted regarding the alleged “Origin France” labelling used by an Italian company to market kiwis grown outside of France. Investigations are underway, following data provided by customs that has led to a referral to the Italian authorities via the "Food Fraud" cooperation network set up by the European Commission. Criminal proceedings have been initiated in Italy against this company. The “Origin France” fruit in question was found to contain the presence of phytosanitary product residues that are banned in France.
Italy leads Europe in grapes and pear production
Italy leads the way in the continent for its production of table grapes and pears, according to data emerging from the latest Eurostat survey on agricultural area. In 2017, fruit planted area covered 1.295 million hectares, slightly higher than in 2012. Around two-thirds of this area is concentrated in Spain, Italy and Poland.
Fall in Italy’s fresh produce exports and imports
According to data published by Fruitimprese, relating to the first 9 months of 2018, the country’s fruit and vegetable exports fell 12.2% in volumes and 3.5% in value compared to the same period last year. Moreover, fruit and vegetable imports were also down, by 1% in volumes and 1.6% in value. Although fresh produce exports continued to outweigh imports - by €522 million, the balance down 12.5% from September 2017. In the first 9 months of 2018, Italy exported 2.6 million tons of fruit, worth €3.3 billion. Fresh fruit exports dropped 6.9%, while legumes and vegetable fell 1%.
CIV at Asia Fruit Logistica: new successful apple, pear and strawberry varieties! Next CIV’s Exhibition at Fruit Attraction in Madrid
Now that Asia Fruit Logistica is over, CIV – Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti [Italian Growers Consortium] in San Giuseppe di Comacchio is looking forward to the next trade fair, FRUIT ATTRACTION 2018 (Madrid, 23-25 October) where the Ferrara Consortium will attend for the first time with their own space (Hall/Pabellón 3 - Stand 3 C08).
AREFLH promotes role of women in fruit and vegetable sector
The AREFLH is an Italian association consisting of producers, managers, consultants, journalists, experienced researchers in different areas of the entire production chain, from the nursery to the distribution. The association hopes to support the establishment of similar associations the other EU countries with the future goal of creating a European Federation of women of fruit and vegetables.
More favourable conditions expected for Italian kiwi and citrus fruit in China from next year
There was a positive outcome to visits by Chinese inspectors from 13 to 19 January to assess cold treatment in Italian factories prior to shipment to China. The visit was coordinated by CSO Italy in partnership with the ICE – Agency and was aimed at promoting Italian companies in China as part of a special loan from the Ministry of Economic Development to facilitate sanitary and phytosanitary inspection missions for opening new markets to Italian food products.
Italy’s citrus crop set to fall by up to 10%
This year’s citrus production in Italy has been hit by adverse weather conditions and phytosanitary problems, which have also resulted in smaller sizes. The warm winter during flowering damaged the plants, while the prolonged summer heat and drought decreased sizes and triggered outbreaks of the Tristeza virus in Sicily. Another issue facing Italian producers are their rising production costs stemming partly from the need for more prolonged irrigation.
Ecological processed tomatoes through electric pulses
Novel ways to facilitate peeling of tomatoes for processing involving electric fields are being tested by a research team at the University of Salerno in southern Italy. Electric pulses are being used by Giovanna Ferrari’s team to open a pore in the cell membrane and increase the permeability of the peel. This enables the tomatoes to be peeled more easily using steam. The technique, termed Pulsed Electric Field Preservation (PEF), can reduce steam for peeling, and thereby lowering water consumption and total energy use.
Apofruit exports Italian quality to the world
Italian fruit is a well-known and highly valued product on international markets, to the point that it represents the most consistent item in Italian agri-food exports.
This business is aided by new refrigeration, preservation and transport systems that allow Italy’s high-quality fruits to reach increasingly distant markets, which were once inaccessible as a result of the distance.
Many important companies are thus now able to place half, and sometimes even more, of their fruit production under the category of exports.