THE PROCESSED VEGETABLE INDUSTRY IN ITALY
For vegetables a shift of demand from the fresh products towards the processed ones is being checked. For example, between the years 1960–1961 and 1967–68 per capita consumption of processed vegetables increased by 58.3% in the EEC countries, from 7.8 to 12.4 kg, while tripled in Italy from 2.8 to 9.7 kg.
The increase of consumption and the changes in the agricultural and distribution sectors led the processing industry to change drastically the productive organization and the traditional market policy.
These changes make the studies in this field very interesting. But for a long period the agricultural economists and experts of horticultural and industrial techniques neglected the analysis of the Italian processed vegetable industry.
Only recently, during the "Conferenza Nazionale per l'Ortoflorofrutticoltura" some of these problems have been discussed, such as vertical integration and structure of the processing industry, and finally some specific researches have been promoted (1).
The studies published by the "Conferenza Nazionale per l'Ortoflorofrutticoltura" did not only give a basic contribution to the knowledge of the processed vegetable industry, but also opened the way to statistical checking and to new deeper studies on the relationships between the agricultural, processing and distributive sectors.
The Institute for market-research and informations in Agriculture (IRVAM) has been sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, in order to carry out surveys on evolution and trends of consumption, prices, production and marketing on Italian and foreign markets, and to publish the gathered data to help the farmers in their marketing decisions to develop agricultural production and promote Italian food consumption. This Institute, in cooperation with the Institute of Economics and Land Policies of the University of Piacenza decided to carry out an extensive survey, according to its own program of researches on market structure of agriculturel products.
The aims of this survey were to get a better knowledge of the processed vegetable industry and its relationships with the agricultural and distributive sectors, to test the reliability of information gathered from other sources, to collect new elements about the productive and marketing behaviour of the firms as well as to suggest interventions to the Public