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Italy: Uncertainty for citrus fruit

"In this sector, even the best have become amateurs - the ever-changing weather and fast and unpredictable market mean all programmes must be revised. We need to plan things for February or March but nobody knows what is going to happen between now and then. The problem is production and processing costs are higher than those of our competitors and we only reason in terms of special promotions," explains a Sicilian entrepreneur specialising in the production and sale of citrus fruit.

"It is not simple to manage our businesses and it is not fair that we have to deal with foreign competitors for whom things are easier, as for example they can use phytosanitary products, we cannot. In the end, our products are all sold on the same market, and the lowest prices win. What we are asking for is proper management and for operators to defend prices so we can get the right profit to manage our businesses."

"The 2014/15 blood orange campaign is starting. Quality is good but produce is scarce - 35-40% less than last year." If supply is managed well, this could mean better prices. The PGI Blood Orange Consortium could make the difference, but it is important that all partners keep high quality in mind and respect certain standards."

"We need to believe in the produce and work together. We also need to involve retailers, as they could help promote our oranges."

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