5.4 million tonnes of transformed product, a slight reduction (-1.3%) compared to 2022, but with a heavy increase in production costs. These are the 2023 results of the tomato transformation campaign which, with a total turnover of 4.4 billion euros, is the most important Italian processed fruit and vegetable supply chain. In particular, regarding the price that industrialists paid to agricultural producers at the beginning of the campaign, in the Northern basin there was an increase in the average reference price of 40%, while in the Southern basin of 13%.
Because production costs have increased
The climate, which is increasingly characterized by violent and sudden phenomena which caused frequent factory shutdowns and extended the processing period until the beginning of November. The one just concluded was one of the longest and most complex campaigns of recent years, declared the president of Anicav Marco Serafiniwhich underlined how extreme climatic events have had a particular impact on industrial production costs, first and foremost energy and manpower. Cost increases for primary and secondary packaging, which had already weighed considerably on company budgets in previous campaigns, and the further increase in the cost of raw materials have further worsened the situation. This is a situation you will definitely have negative effects on company margins.
The production campaign, in detail
Analyzing the data in detail, 2.8 million tonnes of final product were obtained in the North (-3% on 2022), while in the Center and South 2.6 million tonnes of tomatoes were transformed: in the latter case, the volume was similar to that of last year’s campaign, despite a greater investment in hectares (+5%). Both production basins were united by a worsening of agricultural yields: a situation which required the use of greater quantities of tomatoes in order to guarantee high quality standards, with a consequent decrease – and a probable increase in prices – of products intended for the final consumer.
The crux of the increase in raw material prices
Also weighing on production costs is the cDespite the increase in the price of raw materials which – underlines Anicav – is the highest in the world. For Giovanni De Angelis, general director of Anicav, the tomato campaign immediately started uphill due to the difficulties linked to reaching an agreement on the average reference price of the raw material in both production areas and the critical issues also continued during the transformation. In particular in the Center and South there was an enormous and unjustified rise in pricesi: a situation that has seriously called into question the supply chain relationship which, in our opinion, will necessarily have to be reformed. It is no coincidence that Anicav’s public meeting on 24 November, entitled “Ithe red thread of the tomato”, will focus precisely on this topic.
The tomato processing industry in Italy
As anticipated, the industrial tomato has a overall turnover (2022) of 4.4 billion euros, employs 10 thousand permanent workers and more than 25 thousand seasonal workers (in addition to the workforce employed in related industries): all elements that make it a highly strategic sector of the Italian economy. Italy, which is the third largest tomato processor in the world after the United States and China, confirms itself as the largest processor of derivatives intended directly for final consumption, represents 12.2% of world production (equal to 44.2 million of tonnes) and 52% of the European processed food.
What it is and what Anicav does
The National Association of Vegetable Food Preservers (Anicav) was born in Naples on 5 February 1945 and today the largest association representing tomato processing companies in the world. It brings together three-quarters of the Italian processing industries, which transform approximately 70% of all the tomatoes processed in our country and almost all the whole peeled tomatoes produced in the world. The turnover in 2022 was 3.3 billion euros, equal to 75% of the total turnover of the Italian tomato processing sector).