The new Sicilian lemon campaign is about to begin. Despite the events of the last few days, the climatic balance is constantly kept under observation since it influences the performance of the fields. For instance, last Summer was not as dry as the previous one. In order to have a better understanding of the expectations for this campaign, we contacted Giuseppe Campisi, national advisor for Fruitimprese.
“During these first days of November, the Primofiore di Siracusa lemon campaign has started. Last Summer was not as dry as the one in 2017. However, it was dry nonetheless thus delaying the beginning of the current season. Therefore, the flowering delayed as well. The direct consequence was the inevitable shifting of the harvesting period to the first days of November. We already expect a lower production compared to last year. On the other hand, thanks to the 2018 Summer weather, the quality of the produce is way higher than last year”.
A snapshot of the harvesting of the rare Limone Femminello di Siracusa Igp.
The expert, “Therefore, considering that a lower production balanced with less waste, we can openly say that we align with last year production.
One must consider the production yield in order to face the markets. What is the current situation? Are the volumes enough for both internal and external markets?
Campisi answered, “We surely have enough quantity for both of them. In Sicily, crops are increasing thanks to new lemon orchard implants. Further, new plants and new varieties will allow us to harvest earlier, in the next years”.
Ismea price chart about the main Sicilian markets
In Europe, people are looking forward to the beginning of the Spanish campaign. But, do they really prefer the Spanish product over the rare Femminello di Siracusa lemon?
Campisi clarified, “We saw that the Spanish lemon campaign has already begun. They are harvesting the Fino, which is a very early variety. Siracusa is starting now the harvesting of its Limone di Siracusa Igp (or Femminello). It is an early variety but it has more citric acid than the Spanish lemon, plus it has unique essential oils. The careful customer prefers the Sicilian produce because this lemon does not undergo any treatments. It is a 100% edible citrus fruit: juice, pulp and skin. Therefore, the customer can enjoy all its characteristics, from the aroma to the taste of the natural juice”.
Sicilian fruit and vegetables have everything they need in order to be appreciated by the markets. However, it seems that there is always something amiss.
Campisi, “One of the problems that differentiates us from our Spanish colleagues is that local producers rarely cooperate with each other, in Sicily. I think we should stop for a second and ask ourselves a couple of questions. We need to change attitude, and we should start from listening to our customers. We must meet their expectations and needs because we would not be here today without them”.