Italy: novel Italian citrus fruits for the German market

Stefano Restuccia is the marketing manager for the Sicilian Red Co.p PO and he said to FreshPlaza, “We have just started the Tarocco marketing campaign with the harvesting of the produce coming from early ripening areas where we farm the Tarocco Nocellare and the Tarocco 2062. In this way, we can package a produce which has ripened naturally. The fruit is of a better quality than in last year. The size is generally bigger, the colour is good and also the sugar level is around 12/13 Brix degrees”.

Yet, Stefano pointed out that “the only issue is represented by the limited volumes. As it is widely known, we are undergoing a deep change in Sicily which brought to the eradication of old bitter orange rootstock implants. At the same time, new implants are still growing, and they will enter into production gradually. Over the next 4/5 years, we will see the quality of our produce constantly growing as a consequence of the increasing availability of produce coming from those young implants. The cultivars are extremely resistant and they will allow us to cover a big portion of the marketing calendar with important varieties such as Tarocco Ippolito, Tarocco Rosso, Tarcco TVD and Sant’Alfio”.

The company occupies 700 hectares in Sicily. Furthermore, the business is constantly growing also thanks to the trusted MMR partners that enabled to increase the revenue by 40%, over the last years.

“From a marketing standpoint, we will start with the Tarocco slowly so to wait for the market to kick off properly. Also because, at this moment, the ‘shelf-enemy’ is the clementine from Calabria which is taking a consistent market space off the Navel orange”.

“These problems were solved on the 19th November. On that day, we stared the harvesting of naturally-ripened citrus fruit which allowed us marketing a superior-quality produce. As a consequence, we could set anew the MMRs’s marketing standards. With regard to the marketing of the Arancia Rossaci, we are expecting an important season which could reflect the daily enthusiasm coming from the Sicilian productive segment”.

“I think we should look at the Red Orange as a niche produce thus focusing on the healthy produce consumption growing trend. I am talking about produce that are characteristics of specific areas: fruits farmed following sustainable regulations which respect both the health and the environment. In other words, the Italian consumer mainly chooses for the Made in Italy produce because she is aware of its quality and healthiness. On the other hand, she looks at produce coming from abroad only if the national one is lacking”.

The entrepreneurs concluded, “From an international point of view, we are carrying out projects together with our German partner. We are developing a co-branding line in collaboration with the Consortium for the Protection of the PGI Sicilian Red Orange. We are focusing on the Tarocco variety in order to replace the limited volumes of Arancia Moro. As of now, we believe that the only way to be available within MMRs is to shift the focus on the Tarocco variety. This will mean to periodically change the variety in order to constantly present an orange with proper an external colour and an internal pigmentation”.

O.P. Red Co.P
Via Palermo 251/D
95046 – Palagonia (CT) Italy
Tel.: (+39) 095 7945044


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