The French greenhouse manufacturer Richel has already been working for 25 years in Italy, with the main market being that of vegetable production. Arnaud Franceschini, regional director of exports, explains that “most clients in the Italian greenhouse sector are large, but in this country there is also a lot of open field agriculture, because the climatic conditions are good.”
Arnaud Franceschini, regional director of exports at Richel and Matthieu Lerch, Richel’s Sales Manager for Italy during MacFrut Cesena 2014, which was held last week.
“However, this summer the weather was unfavourable for open field lettuce growers, and as a result many are thinking about introducing low-tech plastic greenhouses to protect their crops against frost and hail,” explains Arnaud.
Three years ago, Italy had approximately 30,000 hectares of covered crops; 30% of which in Sicily. This acreage has remained stable, although according to Arnaud, “in Sicily many are switching now to high-tech, especially to be able to tackle soil related issues. This involves growing on substrate.”
Richel’s greenhouses are renowned for their strength, durability and good balance between quality and price. “Regardless of vegetable prices, our business keeps growing because of a professionalization of the sector, which means that growers are spending more on equipment, as they don’t want to risk the effects of snow, wind or hail,” affirms Arnaud.
The situation in Russia gives some troubles on the European market. According to Arnaud, “our business is strongly linked to political and financial aspects, but we’ll have to wait and see. In any case, we are present in 80 different markets, and despite competition, there’s enough room for everyone.”