The production of Salad

The world production of salad and especiallu the production of lettuce, is estimated to be around22,253,266 tons (FAO, 2008). China ranks first in the world production of salad, with 12,505,500 tons of salad produced, followed by the United States, with 4,014,590 tons, Spain, with 1,002,800 tons Italy, with 847,666 tons and India, with 790,00 tons of salad produced (FAO, 2008). As to hectares , in 2009 in China, 550,265 hectares wese assigned to the production of salad; in the United States, the same year, 110,966 hectares where cultivated with salad, of which 70% produced in California.
Also the production odf salad in greenhouses, more and more increasing, is around 56,000 tons in Holland, ( quantity more than twice that produced in open field), 40,000 tons in Spain ad 18,000 tons in England. Follow, with lower figures the productions of salad in greenhouses of Germany and Denmark.
Salads, among the main and most important fresh vegetables with cutting leaves, have seen a more and more increasing extension of the cultivated areas in several countries of th Mediterranean, because of the increasing demand of these fruit and vegetable products by 4th range industries, interested in the packaging of salad in bags and in the packaging of other fruit and vegetable products already washed and cut, saled on the fruit and vegetable market ready for .consumption..
Among the European countries that produce fresh fruits and vegetables, Spain ranks first, followed by Italy, France, Germany Greece and Poland.
Spain holds the record for the European production of saladwith 850 million tons produced (average of the period 2008-2010), followed by Italy, with 490 million tons and by France, with 315 million tons produced.

In Italy, the production of salad(data of 2010) is around 700,000 tons, of which nearly 70% is produced in the Italian regions of Puglia (25%), Campania (15%), Sicily (10%), Lazio (9%) and Abruzzo (7%). In the open field production of salad, in 2002, about 19,016 hectares of land were cultivated, with a total production of 382,592 tons and a production of salad of 363,981 tons for a unit of surface of 20.12 t/ha.

According to the latest figures from the Spanish Ministry f Agriculture, dated 2011, the production of salad in Spain recorded increases of 4.9% over the previous year (2010). In particular the quantity of lettuce produced has increased to 860,400 tons. Despit these encouraging data, in Spain in 2011 the producers of salad from te regions of Murcia, Alicante and Almeria, havesuffered "heavy losses" because of the frost that hit much of Europe in winter.
2011, not only for Spanish producers of salad, will remain in memory as a catastrophic year for theproduction of salad:in fact, French producers of lettuce, have seen price of salads decrease of about 17% compared to the precious year, and also volumes produced recorded a negative sign. With the exception of Germany, all Europeann countries decreased the production of salad in 2011. The production of lettuce in Europe is unstable: only Italy has recorded a certain stability for bout 10 years.

Causes for the decline in the production of salad , recorded, more or less by all countries of the European Union, are prices paid to farmers, which are much lower than the costs of the production of salad. The average of salad price was arounf 0,10 euro cents per kilo, whereas salad production costs are aounf 0.14 euro cents per kilogram.
Moreover, the entire European production of salad reached adequate levels for the harvesting simultaneously, resulting in an abundant availabilityof the fruit and vegetable product on the international market: this helped to further bring down prices of salad on thefruit and vegetable market. For a head of lettuce that normally would be paid between 10 and 12 euro cents per kilo, the price paid in 2011 amounted to 3 euro cents. In this way, many farmers of salad, producers of salad, fruit and vegetable companies that produce salad and operators that deal with salad in the fruit and vegetable sector decided not to pick either.

The production of salad in Portugal, where it is cultivated mainly in greenhouses, is increasingly rising; accrding to data of 2010 the Portuguese production of lettuce extended ove a much greater area compared to the previous years.

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