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Vincenzo Maorino holding a bunch of Carreras F1

Value has dropped by 45% compared with last year – ”Italian tomato producers are underpaid”


“I believe this umpteenth drop in prices of April-May can make us reflect and be considered an opportunity: a starting point to trigger a collective, systemic and structural change,” states Vincenzo Maorino, owner of Gi.Ma.Fra in Fondi (LT) and member of the board of OP Copla. Maorino refers to the huge drop in production prices still underway, which saw a drop in the euro/kg value which, according to Ismea data, is of about -45% on average compared with 2023. Such devaluation affects all the main greenhouse tomato types.

“The main problem for us producers is that we are objectively underpaid. Without even considering the fact that most of us are not paid for our actual working ours, ours is one of the few sectors where those who grow and harvest have no say on the prices and have no bargaining power. What is worse is that, if we do not commercialize the produce around harvesting time, we not only lose profit, but the produce itself. We are therefore forced to settle for the lower prices favored by the produce coming in from third countries.”

Croconì F1

“Under these circumstances, I believe solutions exist and could and must arrive from multiple fronts. In addition to the institutions, which could work on a minimum price and tax reductions, us producers can do a lot. I firmly believe in cooperation, in the ability of working together as a network towards a common objective. Various types of aggregation could help the segment with the expenses and with the creation of small processing centers near the market so that we could channel the produce without having to undersell it in case of overproduction.”

Giuseppe Busacca (Harmoniz) and Vincenzo Maorino (producers)

Giuseppe Busacca (Harmoniz) and Vincenzo Maorino (producers)

“Larger partnerships could generate continuous supplies throughout the year and guarantee constant quality. I appreciate in particular the work carried out by seed company Harmoniz, which is trying to establish synergies between producers and distributors while working with us producers to develop hybrids that boast sturdier plants, complete genetic resistances, higher adaptability to the weather and a reduced water requirement.”

Arucimeli F1


“As for single companies, I can talk about my experience. A few years ago we chose to plan our production specializing on two/three key segments, and this made us less vulnerable to the volatility of market prices, helping us be present on the market for longer with a same variety. I started working with a few seed companies who had the objective of providing real solutions. One of them was Harmoniz, from which I tried smooth round Carreras F1, as well as green oblong Socrate F1, two new midi and mini plum varieties, Croconì and Arucimeli, and a few colored varieties.”

Carreras is a ‘war machine’: it is a variety that I have learned to manage properly over time thanks to the precious support of the Harmoniz technical staff. I know many producers from this area are planting it, replacing other varieties for June/July transplants. I believe Carreras has all it takes to become a reference variety in the center-south of the country as well.”

“I do not know the new varieties as well, because I have only introduced them this year and have only tested them on a small scale. Their performance looks promising, but I would like to try them again on a larger scale next year before making an assessment. In any case, on 19 June all the varieties mentioned will be presented during a Harmoniz Open Day at my company. Local technicians and producers will therefore be able to see them for themselves.”

For further information:
Giuseppe Busacca
+39 338 344 5650
Andrea Tidona
+39 334 135 2581
Guglielmo Roccasalvo
+39 366 988 7564



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