During an interview to Radio Radicale, given during his trip in China, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Development Luigi Di Maio discussed the agreement for the export of Italian citrus fruit to China. He said that a new agreement was reached to carry out shipments by air as well.
"I truly hope that we will be signing a new project on the so-called silk road as well, it would be a great chance for our businesses."
The comments: Federica Argentati (Distretto Agrumi di Sicilia)
"The opportunity of introducing Sicilian oranges to China already in February for the Chinese New Year is now closer. The news given by Luigi Di Maio opens up new possibilities," explained Distretto Agrumi di Sicilia President Federica Argentati.
"Through the Ministry for Productive Activities, the Italian Government showed appreciation for the role Distretto Agrumi Sicilia has played in the past few years and showed great attention to the entire citrus fruit sector, meaning the plea made in Catania last year worked."
"Thanks to the support of regional and national institutions, the citrus fruit segment has already complied with the strict procedures imposed by the Italian-Chinese protocol which allow the export of citrus fruit to the People's Republic of China. However, so far, all the hard work was made useless by the only transport mode allowed, i.e. by sea, as the produce wouldn't have fared well. The possibility of shipping oranges by plane by applying the cold treatment first makes it actually possible to export our products to the Chinese market."
Federica Argentati, President of Distretto Agrumi di Sicilia
"Distretto Agrumi di Sicilia has been interested in the opportunities provided by this huge market for a while: it promoted specific training events to talk about the quality and protection of our brands and favored contacts between the Chinese online and offline trade giant Alibaba and Sicilian producers. We're now waiting to learn about the details of the agreement and we'll help businesses take advantage of this opportunity."
Consorzio di Tutela Arancia Rossa di Sicilia IGP
"We are pleased with the attention the Ministry and the Government have paid to the topic of blood orange exports towards China," explains the President of Consorzio di Tutela Arancia Rossa di Sicilia IGP, Giovanni Selvaggi.
"The agreement reached with the Chinese government on exports by air announced by Di Maio is good news for the consortium and its members."
"The 2018/19 campaign can become an example of what the production standard of PGI blood oranges can be, i.e. high-quality oranges that can make Sicily known worldwide."
"This new silk road also favors the citrus sector in Calabria, as it could boost its export trend," explained Coldiretti Calabria President Franco Aceto. It's a new important gateway for oranges, clementines, tangerines, lemons and other citrus fruit.