“Due to uncontrollable price increases, Italian horticultural companies risk closing down and firing their employees. Today companies are at the crossroads, they are wondering whether to continue producing at the risk of bankruptcy or to stop and suspend production. There is no more time, the situation is very serious: every month that passes leads companies to erode their savings to pay their electricity and gas bills. We ask the institutions to intervene immediately, a concrete solution to the unsustainable increases must be found. Ours is not just a cry of alarm, but a need to intervene immediately. Greenhouse floriculture is among the production chains that are most affected by the increase in energy costs, already severely tested by the lockdown caused by Covid and the consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the markets ". With these words Nada Forbici, president of Assofloro, makes known the situation in which the Italian horticultural companies have found themselves.
THE NUMBERS - Here in detail the data regarding the increases suffered by companies in the horticultural sector.
For electricity, the average increase in January 2022 compared to the same month 2021 is 35%, while in the period July 2021/2022 it is 97%.
Equally negative numbers for diesel: there was a + 45% in the period January 2021/2022 and a + 80% in the period March 2021/2022.
But the most sobering data are those relating to methane: + 653% from January 2021 to January 2022, + 694% in the period June 2021/2022 and + 1212% in July 2022 compared to July 2021.
The analysis of the numbers is fairly straightforward: in relation to the already substantial increases that occurred at the beginning of 2022 compared, in recent months, especially in the summer, the surge in prices has been unstoppable.
THE SPECIFICITIES OF THE SECTOR - Greenhouse floriculture is a sector strongly linked to seasonality with specific times and dynamics. It is not possible to postpone production, as happens in other sectors: plants need a certain time to grow and, for varieties linked to a season, the risk is to totally skip the annual production cycle.
The energy price increases are added to the increases that have affected the raw materials necessary to produce in the last year, from pottery to peat, and clearly go beyond production itself, also affecting distribution and transport. In short, it is a situation that also negatively affects the planning of future productions, productions which, precisely due to the peculiarities of the sector, cannot then be accelerated once the emergency has returned.
ASSOFLORO'S APPEAL - "From the data collected, it is clear that the situation is very serious and it is necessary to act immediately trying to save financial liquidity for companies - explains Nada Forbici - If the interventions are not timely, many companies in the sector will seriously risk to die. A valuable help for the sector was the relief for employees and employers in the period of the lockdown, such as the moratorium on mortgages. This solution could be an immediate liquidity saving for companies, pending the application of tax credits and being able to invest again in renewable energy. Because today the crazy spending of bills is acting as a detractor to investments for companies precisely for the consumption of savings, despite the contributions, in the hope of returning to normal soon ».