The marketing of clementines is pivotal for AOP Armonia, which has implemented an "Iberian" approach to production not only to the Sibari plain (Calabria) but also to other areas. Calabria, Basilicata, Puglia and Campania are all experimenting with late varieties. "As far as I know, we are the only ones selling the two Italian PGI varieties (Clementine di Calabria and Clementine del Golfo di Taranto.)"
In Spain, despite the fact that the main sales structures are located in Castellon and Valencia, production is located on a wide area which includes 4 regions (Andalusia, Murcia, Comunidad Valenciata and Catalonia), where different varieties are cultivated depending on the characteristics of the area. As Marco Eleuteri explains, "this kind of differentiation enables operators to have a long harvesting and marketing calendar which starts in September and ends in April."
As regards to international cooperation, the production manager of Spanish company Bollo recently visited AOP Armonia and its Spinoso trees.
Will we ever reach Spain?
"I hope so. I hope entrepreneurs will become more aware and that technical formation will improve, so that we will have technicians that can lead this renewal. Innovation must be managed, led and coordinated by skilled and experienced technicians. Each variety needs a specific know how. A close cooperation between agronomists and entrepreneurs is therefore essential."
The fundamental aspect is competence - high quality citrus growing can only be carried out by skilled companies that believe in innovation and are led by well-prepared agronomists.