14 Apr 2020

LUCCHINI: COVID-19 AND LABOUR CRISIS

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Alessandro Lucchini has been a key player in the Italian berriessector for years. He currently serves as CEO of Consorzio Piccoli Frutti, a leading player in the berries supply chain, based in Verona and which in November 2019 entered into an important agreement with San Lucar,

We have taken up his cry of alarm at the difficult situation that lies ahead due to the shortage of labour for the collection of berries.

CODIV-19 HAS ACCENTUATED THE CRITICALITY OF THE LABOUR FACTOR FOR OUR SECTOR: IT IS A DECISIVE ELEMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT BUT THERE IS NOT THE NECESSARY POLITICAL ATTENTION.

Alessandro Lucchini, CEO Consortium berries

If harvesting personnel is important for the whole fruit and vegetable sector, it is all the more important for berries, which requires adequately trained personnel and has a fundamental impact on both cost and quality.

HARVESTING REQUIRES SPECIAL CARE, AND UNFORTUNATELY IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO BE UNEMPLOYED TO KNOW HOW TO HARVEST WELL BERRIES.

Unlike other countries, in Italy no solutions have yet been found to manage the problem in a timely and effective way: according to Lucchini "it would be necessary to take action as the United Kingdom, which is managing the double emergency Covid-19 and Brexit, or Germany, which has activated an air corridor to bring manpower from Romania".

VOUCHERS AND CORRIDORS FOR INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY ARE THE TOOLS THAT OUR INDUSTRY HAS LONG BEEN DEMANDING.

Lucchini also states that "our labour needs could be an element to alleviate the economic crisis in other sectors. In many areas, agriculture and tourism coexist, and the latter now finds itself with a surplus of foreign labour often available to do the work in the countryside".

A SOLUTION IS NEEDED: WE DO NOT WANT THE NATURAL RISK APPETITE OF ENTREPRENEURS TO TAKE RISKS ONLY TO TAKE ON LABOUR WHEN THE LEGISLATIVE SITUATION IS UNCLEAR.

Alessandro Lucchini concludes by acknowledging that "Minister Bellanova is making important efforts to define a legislative framework and international agreements to allow the necessary influx of labour into production areas. Unfortunately, all this effort is in danger of foundering in the shackles of the Italian bureaucracy".

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