"While there were a few commercialization problems for Sicilian oranges, things are better for lemons," reports Salvatore Magliocco, vice-president of PASAM Agrumi, a cooperative working in the production and commercialization of lemons.
"There was a strong increase in the demand of Sicilian lemons, especially for those from the Syracuse area. However, prices are lower than 2018, though average prices are definitely higher than 4-5 years ago."
"Nonetheless, it was a rather tormented year due to weather calamities in October/November 2018, when the abundant rain caused rot. In December 2018/January 2019 we had the first frost with temperatures close to 0°C that even scalded some of the produce. Towards the end of February, the strong winds led to fruits with a damaged and cut peel."
"All this led to an increase in the volumes of third-category produce, with a further drop in prices. Of course another collateral effect is the low quality of first-category lemons to place on the fresh produce market. The situation was not exactly the best from the point of view of the weather, yet the citrus fruit campaign maintained constant prices."
Of course Femminello lemons from Syracuse have that extra oompth thanks to the PGI mark. The fruit comes exclusively from the Syracuse area and from groves certified by Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia.
- Its points of strength, particularly appreciated on the international markets are the following:
• It is particularly juicy: over 34% with high vitamin C and citric acid levels;
• The peel is rich in high-quality essential oils so much so that is is used by perfume companies on a global level;
• It is a very generous plant, as it fructifies four times during the year: primofiore (the most abundant), bianchetti, maggiolini and verdelli;
• Fine-grained peel with few seeds: elegant and ideal to juice.
"Precisely due to their many qualities, Limoni di Siracusa IGP must be safeguarded and promoted."