NEWS » Bad weather hits food production in Italy

Bad weather hits food production in Italy

The exceptional bad weather of this year caused a decrease in made in Italy food production accounting for 35 percent less for olive oil, 15 percent less for wine and 4 percent of wheat for the pasta. Also the picking of fruit and vegetables decreased under the effects of bad weather. According to Coldiretti the damage to the agricultural sector accounts for 2.5 billion considering the production decrees and increase of expenses for the protection of the cultivations. Grape harvest in particular is most likely to be classified as the poorest since 1950, with a production of Italian wine that could drop down by 41 million hectolitres. The Italian production of olive oil has collapsed by 300 thousand tons. The growth of crops in Italy also influenced the production results at the international level. The world wine production in 2014 should reach 271 million hectolitres with a decrease of 6 percent. France will this year overtake Italy with 44 million hectolitres becoming again the world's leading producer. Even more serious is the situation for the olive oil with the International Olive Oil Council (Coi), which estimated a decline in world production by as much as 19 percent for about 2.56 million tons.  

At risk also the production of pasta because of the excessive dependence of the domestic industry for the purchase of durum wheat from abroad, from where comes about 40 percent of the requirements. In Italy the production of durum wheat has declined slightly (-4 percent), there was a substantial drop of 10 percent in the European Union but a real collapse of 27 percent was recorded in Canada, Italy’s main supplier. Overall, according to estimates by the International Grains Council, global production will be about 34 million tons (a drop of 15 percent).

Also for the national harvest of tomato preserves for preparing pulp, there was a drop in yield per hectare and the production remains in line with the seasonal average of the past five years, only because there was an increase of cultivated areas. Bad news also in the fruit sector. Some varieties collections still remain to be completed or have still to begin (apples, pears, grapes, kiwi, citrus fruits), it is estimated a fall in total production compared to last year. Chestnuts are even at a record low, with a national production well below the 18 million Kilograms recorded last year, and amounting to only one third of that of 10 years ago.

The shortage of these key ingredients of the Mediterranean diet will have an impact on prices probably causing a reduction in purchases. 

Giulia Lombardo

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