Chapter 2: Social and Local Development

Title: Typical products for local development: strategies for the valorisation of bergamot in Calabria


Abstract/Summary: The bergamot is a citrus grown in Calabria, in Southern Italy. It contains an essence that is a fundamental component for perfumery industry. Further, the essence is nearly a natural monopoly since the large majority of the essence marketed in the world comes from Calabria. Nevertheless, bergamot production, after two centuries of "golden age", entered a deep crisis in the last decades, so that the survival itself of this production is at risk. The paper describes the evolution of the bergamot industry and the structure of the supply chain. Then the experience of a group of growers is analysed, who tried to overcome the crisis with a strategy based on quality (also adopting organic farming method) and by-passing the monopsony created by the large exporters of essence. The reasons for the success of this initiative are discussed, as well as the possible treaths for the future of the group.

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