Italy - Drastic reduction in garlic availability in western Sicily

23.09.2022 117 views

The harvesting season of Sicilian garlic mostly ended in late June. Between sowing and the first harvesting operations, the season lasts approximately 6-7 months (December-June). Given the natural shelf-life of the product, the sales period varies depending on demand: the livelier the demand, the shorter the commercial period. FreshPlaza has talked about it with Giovanni Manuguerra, president of Cooperativa Agricola Aglio RossoNubia in Paceco (TP).

"Our sales period usually ends between February and March. Ours is a niche product with unique organoleptic qualities. Red garlic from Nubia takes its name after the red tunic of its bulbs and the name of a small town where it has been cultivated since ancient times on mainly clayey soils in a unique micro-environment. Just think that our town is nicknamed the town of garlic."

"As for the commercial campaign, I would say this season has been different than previous ones. While prices were more or less similar up until last year, this year we have had to increase them due to the soaring prices of fuel, fertilizers, electricity, etc."

"It is a rather unlucky period for all of us, however we have also had to deal with the abundant rain during the pre-sowing phase in the fall/winter which prevented us from preparing the soil. Therefore, in addition to the increase in the costs of production materials, we have also had to face the costs of trying to recover the lost land.

"Unfortunately we did not manage it, with serious consequences on the company economy. As a direct consequence, we have had to put up with the increase in general costs, as mentioned, with the outcome of a less-than-ideal campaign, characterized by a large percentage of produce registering grades smaller by at least 40% and, finally, with a 30-40% drop in production." 

"We spent €3.00 to produce one kg of garlic, which was then sold at €3.80-4.00 (mainly to wholesalers). As can be seen, the margin is very low or practically non-existent despite the considerable drop in production."

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