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Medium-small citrus fruit grades in Sicily

"The hot summer with temperatures reaching 30°C up until last week led to smaller citrus grades in Sicily despite all the measures taken to avoid it," explains Giacomo Altieri, owner and sales manager with his son Pascal of Altieri Giacomo & Figlio.

In the photo, Giacomo Altieri, founder of the company and pioneer of the commercialisation of citrus fruit overseas. 

"We estimate that only 20% of blood oranges are suitable for exports. We selected large grade productions and paid a lot for them (as much as 60-70 eurocents per kg). However, compared to the volumes we usually process, we don't think volumes will be enough to meet all demands. More generally, the market requires grades exceeding 70 mm."

The company is located in Palagonia (CT) and grows many varieties on around 50 hectares. Cultivars include various types of tangerines and the new Tarocco Rosso, Lampso and TDV. These are are early pigmented products on innovative rootstocks such as Carrizo and Citrumelo. The fruit is commercialised under the "Fior d'Arancia" brand.

The produce holds the GlobalGAP certification and meets the requirements of PGI standards. The facility covers 2,400 sq m, while orchards are located in the Monaci/Principessa area.

"There are problems due to the weather and CTV-Citrus Tristeza Virus, but we must say sugar content is very high this year."

"Temperatures have dropped over the past few days, so the flesh will turn bright red. The fruit has been certified as PGI 'Arancia Rossa di Sicilia' to better promote this typical local production."

"We try to make sure that each phase of the production process has the least impact possible. This is why we are implementing organic cultivation techniques."

"The comparison with the foreign market is very significant for us as, on the one hand, it confirms our produce is much appreciated all over the world for its organoleptic properties and for the standards guaranteeing the absence of harmful residues. On the other hand, I'm increasingly convinced that the biggest challenge is foreign competition, as it tends to depreciate the produce. We manage to defend ourselves only thanks to our experience, knowledge and professionalism."

The company also has its own e-commerce channel.

Fior d'Arancia - Az. Agricola Altieri Giacomo & Figlio
Via Trento, 10
95046 Palagonia (CT) - Italy
Tel.: (+39) 095 7951561
Cell.: (+39) 335 7167691

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