War crisis leads to soaring demand in mid-Italy

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12 April 2022
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Supplier cites 20% order increase

THE Russian-Ukrainian conflict has led to a much-increased demand for potatoes by Italian consumers, it has been claimed.

In an interview with FreshPlaza, a supplier said demand had soared while prices had remained stable - unlike that of wheat and other cereals, which are registering record quotations.

Vincenzo Colombrino from Magna Grecia, a cooperative located in Basilicata that supplies around four thousand tons of potatoes every year through large retail chains in the centre and south of the country stated: "We have registered an increase in orders that exceeds 20%. It started with the first blocks in road haulage and has intensified with the war in Eastern Europe." 

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"Chains are asking us to increase our deliveries and set up more promotional initiatives for the next few days as well, as the produce continues to sell well and demand is very high. 25 tons of potatoes are leaving from our Metaponto warehouse every day. These volumes reach two distribution platforms (Gioia del Colle and Catania), which enable us to quickly reach all regions in central and southern Italy. Around 300 hectares are destined to potato cultivation and are located mainly in Campania, Lazio and Emilia Romagna. The varieties grown are Colomba, Agata, Sunita and Annabelle (yellow flesh) as well as Laura (red potatoes with a yellow flesh).

"Compared to other products, potatoes are not easily perishable and can therefore be stocked for longer. This is also why, over the past few weeks, purchases have increased significantly. In addition, sales prices have remained unvaried (€0.55-0.60/kg from the warehouse) unlike what is happening for all other types of food, including fruit and vegetables. The general uncertainty and considerable price increases when it comes to food, energy and fuel mean people prefer this product. We are thinking about how to plan things for 2022/23: we believe we will plant the same crops and reduce the area destined to the production of watermelons." 

Source and photo: Fresh Plaza

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