The British market is very important for Oranfrizer citrus fruit. "It has sophisticated tastes and appreciates all varieties like, for example, Tacle or Mandared tangerines and even Etna Mandarin. In addition, the British appreciate blood oranges a lot. The UK and Norway are the countries where the commercial season is almost as long as in Italy," explains Sara Grasso, export manager for the Sicilian company.
"Blood oranges are often perceived as a product available only for a short time, while the campaign actually starts in December and ends in June. We started exports to the UK in early December 2018, as our main client (Marks & Spencer) wanted to include a variety of non-pigmented blood oranges that is usually appreciated only in Italy."
"We started in December with a Tarocco clone which is completely yellow. The chain opted for it due to its unique flavor. This year, export to the British market ended in late May due to the the lower yields and the damage caused by the flood in October 2018."
"Once again, we are pleased with the British market. The more we collaborate, the more clients study the Italian varieties and appreciate them and we did not expect it, as the UK is famous for the unreachable standards."
What will happen with Brexit?
"If it happens, Brexit could affect all economic sectors, not only the fresh produce segment. Of course, should duties be placed on fruit, therefore increasing costs, our product would become even more expensive, so the early period could be a little difficult to manage."
"But we are hopeful that the market will remain single and free. Otherwise it would be a step back. The UK is an island just like Sicily and both are part of the Old Continent, it should be remain so."