If the prices of frittata and vegetables have increased by 20%, it is not the fault of an alleged increase in transport tariffs, also because the cost of road haulage accounts for just a few cents on the price of a kilo of fruit. The real problem, however, is intermediation. This was stated by Assotir, rejecting the accusations made by Coldiretti with a statement issued on 31 July last.
“It is an all too casual reconstruction – comments Claudio Donati, General Secretary of Assotir. – Coldiretti refers to an increase in fuel costs which would have led to an increase in the cost of transport. We are forced to point out that instead, due to the slowdown in the market, hauliers are seen requesting (and often imposing) tariff reductions on a daily basis. The business costs that I have to bear (and diesel, at the moment, is the least alarming one) are close to 20% increase on an annual basis, it almost seems like a joke”.
“The real problem is intermediation – continues Donati. – If we were to follow the yardstick used by Coldiretti, we would have to conclude that the increase in the cost of fruit in the supermarket is the fault of the farmers. In reality, however, we know well that farmers are the first victims of a perverse mechanism, which rewards intermediation, to the detriment of those who produce. The same is true in the case of road haulage. In fact, it must be remembered that the cost of road haulage is one thing (which, as mentioned, accounts for just a few cents on a kilo of fruit), and the overall cost of logistics is another thing, within which road haulage is certainly one of the earthenware”.
Assotir understands the bitterness that Coldiretti feels, and that derives from the great suffering in which the sector operates. “However – Donati insists – we should be more precise in indicating responsibilities, because shooting in the crowd only serves to cover up the real culprits. But, above all, paradoxical situations such as these should be seized as opportunities to seek new convergences between subjects who, despite the diversity of interests, experience the common situation of weak links in the supply chain, at constant risk of exploitation. Category to which, unfortunately, also the hauliers belong”.
“Perhaps the time has come to put an end to cloying controversies, instead working with healthy realism and without hiding the difficulties, on how to team up to counter the excessive power of the ‘masters of steam’. As far as we are concerned, it is a path, which we have already undertaken, in which we firmly believe, and which seems to us to have been relaunched by the force of events even in recent days” concludes Donati.