Michele Laporta, president of the Consorzio Uva di Puglia Igp: ‘PGI and aggregations can make table grapes take off’.

The President of the Consortium intervenes on the alarm launched by Coldiretti. “This is not a disastrous year”.
Michele Laporta, president of the Consortium for the valorisation and protection of the Grapes of Apulia PGI and president of the Agritalia Op based in Barletta, intervenes on the alarm launched by Coldiretti Puglia on the collapse of consumption of table grapes.
“It is true that the year is not one of the best. It is also true that many unsold grapes are deteriorating due to the arrival of the fog and the abundant humidity of recent weeks. However, I believe that this is a structural and recurring problem in recent years, and we need to work on solutions. Looking for distant markets, which are difficult to reach nowadays with the increase in transport costs, could be inefficient. We must start from the bottom, incentivising aggregations of producers and focusing on IGP certified production and innovating in varieties from 100% Italian supply chains.
In Puglia, PGI is worth 1% of the hectares of table grapes.
I have great respect for Coldiretti and I agree with many of the interventions of my colleagues, but I think that talking about the worst year in the last 10 years is an exaggeration,” adds the importer. “The season for table grapes has been very fluctuating, but the quality productions and especially the PGI certified grapes have performed well, seeing higher volumes compared to last year, but especially crossing more and more retailers in favour of the inclusion of this reference. It is a pity that producers in Puglia are unaware of the existence of the Consortium for the Protection and Promotion of PGI Table Grapes: it is enough to think that the registered hectares do not reach 1% of the areas cultivated with table grapes. We have a very useful tool for promoting our product, but we do not exploit it adequately.
“Our grapes,’ Michele Laporta continued, ‘are appreciated and in demand everywhere, we have been the garden of Europe for decades, let us return to these markets where we have lost so much in recent years. Let’s avoid useless exploitation that too often sets producers and marketers against each other. In Puglia we produce a large quantity of table grapes, we need more cooperation. Aggregating production and marketing chains would bring more advantages to the territory”.
Laporta agrees with Coldiretti on the need to intensify controls to increase safety in the supply chain, “a problem that needs to be monitored”, as well as on the quality of our product, “always higher and responding to the needs of the market, as I believe we already do a lot on food safety, our product is healthy and respectful of the environment”.
The point of view on seedless grapes, on the other hand, is different: “Perhaps Coldiretti does not realise that 100% Italian supply chains have been set up, with registered varieties and no royalties on marketing,” Laporta stressed. “I believe that we must seek agreements with the market and not provoke clashes. We can’t be against international breeders regardless, but rather we have to work together, focusing on an Italian supply chain, bringing out Made in Italy. I am convinced that there is so much more we can do, but PGI and aggregation, from our observatory, have produced positive results”.
Source: Consorzio di Tutela Uva di Puglia PGI