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Le Buone Terre PO (Sicily)

Italy: Citrus fruit production on the mend

"98% of our production is destined for fresh and processed segments of the domestic market," explains Carmelo Melilli, sales manager for Buone Terre PO. The producer organisation is expecting a 2013/14 campaign with average quantity and grades, after a poor 2012/13 campaign.

"Luckily, there are no big problems caused by CTV in our area, which includes Francofonte, Lentini, Buccheri and Carlentini," explains Melilli.

The cooperative in Francofonte markets oranges and lemons, both organic and traditional, coming from around 1,100 hectares - 850 are dedicated to oranges and 260 to lemons. Blood oranges are Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello, whereas the blond range includes Naveline, Valencia and Ovale. As for lemons, Femminello di Siracusa is the chosen variety.

Franco Tumale (left) and Carmelo Melilli at Macfrut 2013

"We did a little worse in 2013 than previous seasons and we were hit by both the crisis and the weather. There won't be any changes for the rest of the year, as marketed volumes between October and December are usually at a minimum - the production of our associates is centred between mid-December and April, and therefore it is too early for us to make an assessment," adds Franco Tumale, chairman and legal representative of the Po.

"There are very few anti-crisis strategies, the only thing we can do is widen our client base by transferring small per capita shares of the product, so as to obtain higher prices. This, together with fixed costs containment, should enable us to give producers more money. Though it's not easy...," says Tumale.

Buone Terre is getting ready to take part to Fruit Attraction in Madrid after participating to Macfruit, where many foreign operators showed a lot of interest for oranges.

"We have taken advantage of our online showcase to the max for the B2B meetings and to programme meetings. We feel Macfrut should try to attract more Italian and foreign exhibitors and visitors by offering stands at lower prices so more companies can take part."

Carmelo Melilli
Cell.: +39 3472149512
LE BUONE TERRE Soc. Coop. Agr. A r.l.
Tel: (+39) 095 6143079
Fax: (+39) 095 6143081

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