"I believe that the Sicilian citrus fruit sector has been going well for those companies who have opted for top-quality productions. Nonetheless, we are affected by non-aggregation within the sector, lack of planning and competition from abroad. On a positive note, many companies renewed the groves damaged by the CTV with resistant varieties, meaning Sicilian oranges are prestigious and stand out," explains Michele Attaguile, owner with this brother Fabio of F.lli Attaguile.
The F.lli Attaguile brand was founded in the 1990s and, since 2001, it commercializes a vast range of products including citrus and summer fruit.
"We own 20 hectares and mainly grow Tarocco Gallo, which is available until late April. The variety is productive and fruits have good grades. Ripening is early and the flesh has a good color. We have recently introduced new grafts which will produce between October and June when other varieties such as Tarocco, Navel, Moro, Valencia, Nova clementines and late tangerines from Ciaculli will also be available."
"The processing of the first Victoria and Black Magic grapes started with a slight delay, followed by Red Globe. We are now commercializing Italia grapes from the Mazzarrone area (CT)."
"The first bunches of Italia grapes did well on the market and we are now hoping consumption will pick up after the summer holidays. Brix level is high and color is also good. Prices are overall better than in 2018 also due to the lower volumes available, though we are indeed affected by competition from Puglia."
The company boasts a 1200 sq m warehouse equipped with graders, packaging machines and three refrigerated units boasting an ozone system that can store up to 300 tons of produce.
Citrus fruit is the flagship product, 30% of which is commercialized abroad by the retail chain and wholesale markets in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Malta, Slovenia and Poland.
"Weather permitting, the 2019 citrus fruit campaign should be characterized by excellent quality despite the slight drop in production. Nothing to worry about though as, like I always say, Sicily is big and there is plenty of citrus fruit available, so we can guarantee continuous supplies."