IT Giacomo Suglia APEO

Giacomo Suglia, Fruitimprese & APEO

The conflict in Ukraine could have a negative knock-on effect on Italy’s fresh produce trade, according to the vice-president of its national fresh produce industry association Fruitimprese.

'The tensions in eastern Europe between Russia and Ukraine are also having an indirect effect,” commented Giacomo Suglia, who is also president of the Apulian producer association APEO.

“The two main [EU] suppliers of fruit and vegetables to the Ukrainian market –especially apples, grapes, stonefruit and kiwifruit – are Poland and Greece. With the current tense situation, export flows from these two countries to Ukraine could be redirected to the European market, creating a surplus of low-quality and low-priced products. The risk is that they will damage our products, which are more expensive due to their quality.”

Geopolitical tensions in eastern Europe come at a difficult time for Italian exporters, who already face soaring costs for energy and raw materials.

'The picture is clear,” Suglia adds. 'The crazy prices for energy, gas, materials, transport and logistics are there for all to see. This tsunami is having an avalanche effect on the budgets of productive agricultural companies, which are forced to produce at costs that are not covered by adequate sales prices.”