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Tomato season 2022
Rising energy costs and drought - but quality remains
The 2022 tomato season was particularly affected by rising energy costs and drought. The energy costs of the Italian family-owned company MUTTI increased twelvefold compared to 2020. The drought has brought major challenges in planning and execution along the entire supply chain. To hit the perfect harvest time, MUTTI has worked around the clock to process 603,000 tons of top-quality tomatoes. This enabled Europe's leading tomato products company to ensure supplies to the 100 countries where they are distributed.
The harvesting of the sun-ripened fruit is concentrated in the period from mid-July to the end of September, since according to the natural life cycle, tomatoes reach their full degree of ripeness during this period. During these 70 days, the three MUTTI plants in Montechiarugolo (PR), Collecchio (PR) and Oliveto Citra (SA) work continuously so that the tomatoes delivered by over 800 Italian farmers are processed within a few hours.
The highest energy costs in over 120 years of the company's history.
"Despite the difficult external factors that characterized this year's tomato harvest and processing, our core company values remain unwavering: the quality of our products," says Francesco MUTTI, CEO of MUTTI SpA. "The fact that we have achieved not simply satisfactory, but excellent results in quality, means much more in a year like this. After all, in over 120 years in the industry, we have never experienced such high gas and raw material prices, as well as such severe water shortages. Despite this, the entire MUTTI system of numerous technical experts and farmers was able to overcome these unprecedented hurdles. This success is the result of a close partnership at a particularly high level. This year will be remembered for a long time, not least because of the expert knowledge of those in our supply chain who faced and overcame this difficult situation."
Indeed, the 2022 tomato crop was also challenging because of the major drought and exceptionally high temperatures in Italy: in the first twenty days of July, the average temperature was around 3°C above normal, reaching the second highest average in the past 60 years.
"Tomatoes need constant irrigation and, of course, sun, but too high temperatures are harmful for the ripening of the fruit. The situation in July left many doubting the results of the second half of the season," said Massimo Perboni, director of the agricultural service MUTTI SpA. "However, thanks to some rains in August and, above all, to our supply chain, whose managers have demonstrated all their technical know-how, the second part of the harvest was also extremely satisfactory. Above all, our state-of-the-art irrigation systems, such as drip irrigation, contributed to the positive outcome. They guarantee optimal and regular irrigation of the tomatoes without wastage and allow us to respond quickly to water emergencies."
Another important contribution to this outcome was made by the more than 1,100 expert seasonal workers who, together with the employees of the three MUTTI plants in the provinces of Parma and Salerno, supported the production and management activities from start to finish.
- Energy costs
- degree of maturity
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