As a result of economic difficulties and high prices in the basket, consumers have reduced their purchases of fruit and vegetables which in 2022 are down 11% in quantity compared to last year, on minimum values ​​since the beginning of the century. . This is according to an analysis by Coldiretti based on Cso Italy / Gfk Italia data according to which household fruit consumption in the first half of 2022 amounted to 2.6 million tonnes in quantity. But there is also a warning of deflation in the fields, where prices paid to farmers remain low despite sharp increases in production costs, with field-to-table margins of 400% for eggplants, 179% for melons yolks, 100% , % for watermelons and more than 60% for peppers.

Thus consumers were forced to reduce – underlines the regional Coldiretti – the quantities of courgettes purchased by 16%, tomatoes by 12%, potatoes by 9%, carrots by 7% and salads by 4%, while than for fruit has even dropped by 8% for purchases of oranges, unanimously considered as an elixir of life.

A cut – argues Coldiretti – destined over time to also have an impact on health if we consider that the minimum threshold of fresh fruit and vegetables to be consumed several times a day is 400 grams per person, recommended by the Council of the World Health Organization (WHO) for healthy eating.

To weigh the rise in prices which have increased at the retail price of vegetables by 12.2% and fruit by 8.5% even if in the countryside we recognize values ​​​​that do not always cover production costs with decimated harvests by hail and drought, according to Coldiretti analysis on Istat data in July.

The farewell of a basic element of the Mediterranean diet is not the only element of concern if we consider that in reality the whole basket of Italians is empty, who have globally reduced the quantities of products by 3% food purchased compared to last year, based on Coldiretti analysis of Istat retail data for the first half of 2022.

The jump in inflation will cost families in Puglia more than 900 million euros more just for the table in 2022, more than 564 euros more per family just for the table in 2022, due to the explosive mixture of the increase in energy costs linked to the war in Ukraine and crop cuts due to drought, while the number of families in a situation of relative poverty in Puglia has already doubled, according to Istat data for which at the at regional level in Puglia the relative poverty index rose in 1 year from 18.1% to 27.5%, also due to inflationary and speculative phenomena with rising prices and rising energy bills, starting by gas and electricity.

If prices for families run, rising costs and drought are hitting the entire agri-food chain hard, starting with the countryside where – continues Coldiretti – more than one farm in 10 (11%) finds itself in a situation so critical that it stops the activity but well about 1/3 of the national total (30%) is in any case forced at the moment to work in a condition of negative income due to the increase in the costs of production, according to the Crea. fact – specifies the Coldiretti – cost increases ranging from + 170% for fertilizers to + 90% for animal feed to + 129% for diesel.

It is necessary to intervene to contain the costly energy and production costs with immediate interventions to save companies and stables and structural to plan the future, concludes Coldiretti Puglia stressing that it is necessary to work for agreements of supply chain between agricultural and industrial companies with precise qualitative and quantitative objectives and fair prices that never fall below production costs as provided for by the new law against unfair practices and speculation.

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