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Italy - Bad season for the Sicilian artichokes

The main Sicilian artichoke producers are facing a very unpleasant situation. Enzo Rametta told about the current campaign trend, which is indicative of a bad season for the second year in a row.

Rametta explained, “For the second year in a row, the artichoke campaign is just a disaster. Last year, the season was characterised by summer drought, which affected the whole season. In December, the situation got worse as the cold temperatures blocked the plants’ growth”.

“This year, the persistent rains in October and November flooded our fields thus causing artichokes’ root asphyxiation which affected their quality”. The entrepreneur continued, “Also, a few weeks ago, the frost and the intense cold represented other big issues”.

“Therefore, the marketable produce is not much aesthetically pleasing. Once again, we lost part of our income. Many producers will face really hard times, considering the high costs we usually pay. Also, the similarly bad watermelon campaign did not help them, at all”.

Rametta concluded, “The economic damage is consistent. 3.000 artichoke hectares lost 40% of the production. The low prices are another factor which is eroding us, as well”.

This year’s cold in Sicily has been unusual both in terms of duration and intensity. Because of this, prices are increasing, and the consumption is going down. The red cauliflower is probably the clearest example according to Stefano Fiore, “which reached 15 euros per box”.

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