During the COVID 19 emergency, the performance of Oranfrizer’s oranges achieved unprecedented results, with truly extraordinary peaks in March and April. “We have given priority to the national market and we have guaranteed deliveries to Northern European countries with the same stability as ever. In Italy we have recorded a strong focus on citrus fruits, the demand for oranges has been at the top of consumer choices,” said director Nello Alba. “The entire sector has benefited from this. We have seen a 40% increase in red orange sales. What has happened? The consumer is more aware of three valuable elements of the blood orange: it is a precious natural source of Vitamin C, a real treasure chest of many nutrients, its taste is very pleasant and it is Italian. Its origin has been rewarded. If these factors continue to guide consumer choices, we will continue to see growth.”
The 2020 citrus season for Oranfrizer cannot be said to be completely over, as Italian lemons continue to be harvested. This summer’s main protagonist will be Sicili, the lemon with a volcanic soul that ripens in the green plains dominated by Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. Sicilì will debut on the markets in the coming weeks with packaging created to make the Italian Oranfrizer lemons more recognisable, collected exclusively from the most suitable areas of eastern Sicily most of the year. The package communicates information about the different fruitings that ripen one after the other on the same tree. The attention to the reflowering nature of the lemon tree described on the Sicilì package will make it easier to recognise the origin, seasonality, characteristics of the Verdello, Primofiore and Bianchetto lemons that will follow one another and can be purchased by Italian consumers.
The summer production of Oranfrizer goes beyond citrus fruits, because Sicily is teeming with other fruits, such as flat peaches and apricots, mini watermelons and netted melons, new potatoes from Syracuse, already in distribution. The grapes of Mazzarrone, Cantaloupe melon and Coscia dell’Etna pears will also be available soon. This hot summer will close with the peaches of Leonforte PGI, nectarines, prickly pears and mango. The varied offer of Sicilian cherry tomatoes are constantly marketed, the most sought after being the Ciliegino, Datterino and Piccadilly varieties.
Oranfrizer’s seasonal offer of fresh fruit and vegetables contains only the regional selections that represent the best of the largest island in the Mediterranean. “The forecasts for the summer fruit and vegetable season are good, we do not have a shortage of manpower, consumers are looking for the Italian spirit and our products that reach retailers stand out for their origin,” said Alba. “With the marketing of summer fruits we are committed to making the most of our precious Sicilian crops that during the warmer months explode with truly exceptional colours, flavours and aromas. The fruits already chosen on the field are picked only at the right time. Each harvest is subject to a further careful selection by our workers. Those who reach the tables are the best seasonal fruits, the most characteristic of our territory.”
Italy’s citrus sector is implementing blockchain technology in a bid to stave of attempts by fraudsters to pass off South African oranges as PGI Sicilian blood oranges. By affixing high-tech tags to crates of PGI Sicilian blood oranges, the hope is that this will boost transparency and protect against food fraud.
Termed the ROUGE Project, the initiative was devised by a consortium of over 600 stakeholders, with over 6,500 hectares under cultivation of Moro, Sanguillo and Tarocco oranges.
TAGS: blood orange, fraud, Sicily
To mark the new trade agreements signed by Italy and China, the first 40 tons of Sicilian oranges left from Sicily destined for Ningbo, in Zhejiang. The move follows the visit of Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to negotiate Italy’s involvement in China’s Belt and Road Project.
Moreover, there has been a cooperation agreement signed between the port of Trieste and the Chinese group China Communication Construction Company as a gateway in and out of Central Europe for trade with China.
Imports of fresh produce are being passed off as PGI products grown in Sicily. This is the assertion of the island’s Regional Councilor for Agriculture, Edy Bandiera. Containers of unlabeled tomatoes and oranges with the PGI brand have arrived at the port of Pozzallo this year from abroad, as well as Egyptian potatoes labeled as Sicilian. In the past year, there have been a hundred sanctions for irregular products arriving on the island, leading to the setting up of a special task force to deal with the problem.
This year, more than 76 million agro-food products have landed in Sicilian ports from abroad. Airports inspectors last year found a container of oranges from Tunisia that were not conserved properly, as well as lemons and mangoes bringing pests with them from North Africa. Just in the night of January 31st, the taskforce found that of the 36,000 kilos of artichokes arriving, more than half had no indications of origin. The same was the case with almost 6,000 kilos of lemons and tangerines, 7,500 kilos of oranges. The Sicilian government suspects that these products are being sold as local, leading to risks for consumers and producers alike.
Colle d’Oro, one of the largest Sicilian vegetables growers, recently launched ‘Deliziorti’, a new premium brand to exemplify their top quality supply. The new brand is designed to highlight the source of the produce, under the slogan “From the Sicilian sun.” The range of produce includes innovative tomato varieties like the greenish, sweet “Dulcemiel” or the fully flavoured orange “Goloso”, as well as other Sicilian specialties such as sweet seedless pepper and baby carrots.
Colle D’Oro was founded in 1974 by the Calabrese family and today is one of the most important vegetable producer in Sicily. The company has a modern packing and distribution warehouse in Ispica (Ragusa), and specialises in vegetable production on more than 1,000 hectares, with a production calendar running from September to June and employing up to 450 people in the peak season. Some 40% of Colle D’Oro’s production output is fully organic. The company has high penetration in several European countries including Austria, UK, Germany, Denmark, Holland and France.