According to the manager, the reason behind this is difficult to identify: "yields are lower, especially for the older groves, whereas the newer ones are not fully productive, so they cannot make up for the lack of produce. I believe that the freeze in March 2012 may have been responsible, but it is difficult to say as it never happened before."
Another positive aspect is the lack of volcanic ash from Etna, as it can damage plants and fruit. Still, the grower is preoccupied with the weather, as temperatures are quite high - "there were 30°C up to mid October! This increases the risk of diseases and delays the pigmentation of blood oranges."
To conclude, Aurelio Pannitteri does not feel that the lack of oranges will dictate a shorter season: "it will depend on our agreements with big distributors. It wouldn't make sense to promote the produce and then be left without any when demand is high. It is our job to make sure the produce is sold to achieve the best results."
OP Rosaria - Pannitteri & C. srl
S.P. 135 - C/da Belpasso
Tel.: (+39) 095 7913562 / 3
Fax: (+39) 095 7913564