12 October 2022
Supply challenges for Italian operator, but refrigeration less of an issue.
WHILE concerns about meeting consumer demand this year are never far from the mind of one Italian operator from the Campania area, storage is something he is less concerned about, having installed energy-efficient panels before the energy crisis hit.
Francesco Provvisiero said his company is currently buying French potatoes in 1300 kg jumbo bags, at €0.35 per kilo.
Demand from Italy, Spain and Portugal is high and the company needs to meet this with a supply of French potatoes before starting with the Italian crop in May/June, he said in a recent interview.
"There will certainly be no shortage of consumption, because potatoes are a mass product," he said.
"This year, although the purchase price of the tuber seed is not yet known, we expect higher quotations than those for consumption, also because transportation costs, which are clearly growing, will affect the purchase prices even more. This time it will be necessary to have substantial capital available to face the new campaign."
One key issue for Italian potato traders at the moment is the issue of cold storage, which, given energy price increases, will have a major impact on purchase prices.
But seven years ago, Francesco's company decided to instal photovoltaic panels to be energy efficient, a move he said will make a real difference this year, when fellow suppliers are facing bills of €40,000 euros and refrigeration costs have added around 15 cents to prices.