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The Sicilian citrus fruit sector is heading east

"We are definitely better known for our fresh blood oranges and juices, which are produced in Sicily and sold all over the world. However, not many know that we also grow and distribute mangoes, pomegranates and Miyagawa tangerines," explains Nello Alba, CEO of Oranfrizer. 

Nello Alba

"Of course our core business remains citrus fruit, which is taking us to the Far East, e.g. in Japan, where we have recently presented our new Mongibello juice range made up of blood orange and tangerine juice not from concentrate."

Left to right: Sara Grasso and Salvo Laudani from Oranfrizer during a recent visit to Japan

"We are also interested in China. After sending the first three containers of Sicilian blood oranges this year, we are ready to continue with supplies and are looking to increase them, so much so that we have extended our groves by 25 hectares to obtain an additional 500 tons."

Above, an event organized by Oranfrizer in the People's Republic of China 

Together with other seven fresh produce companies, Oranfrizer is working on "The European Art of Taste: Italian Fruit & Veg Masterpieces" project financed by the EU and managed by CSO Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli. It has already planned on taking part in FHC in Shanghai and various other communication campaigns to promote Italian blood oranges in China. 

Mangoes, pomegranates and tangerines
"In order to diversify our production, we have started growing around 6 hectares of mangoes. The yield is around 20 tons as the weather has not been favorable this year. We believe Kensington Pride has the best organoleptic qualities and is currently still being distributed on a niche market. Compared to mangoes from overseas, the Italian ones can be considered 'local' all over Europe." 

"Pomegranate harvesting started a few weeks ago. The first variety to ripen is Ako (early) though, this year, it was twenty days late due to the weather. Volumes are also low but we hope to recover with the Wonderful variety, of which we own 20 hectares. Our pomegranate juice is much appreciated on the market. We produce 200 thousand liters and our clientele is destined to grow." 

"Another interesting product is Miyagawa tangerines, albeit we produce only a limited quantity of them, i.e. 350 tons. These tangerines are sweet with a thin green peel and we only harvest them when they are perfectly ripe. The inside of the fruit has a deep orange color and is very appealing. We grow 25 hectares and the produce is destined to domestic big retailers."

Agriculture and the younger generations, as seen by Nello Alba
Oranfrizer is deeply committed when it comes to social activities, especially for what concerns young entrepreneurship. 

"My work is pragmatic, but also based on feelings. I believe that perceiving the condition of plants is an irreplaceable technique, as we need to observe them and interpret their needs. Young people need to be listened to as well, as they have dreams and hopes that deserve to be nourished, so I would like to invite them to see me to discuss projects and ideas. They should not go looking for fortune elsewhere, they should take back ownership of their fathers' groves before the Tristeza destroys the economy of an entire territory."  

C.da Gagliola S.P. 28/I Km 1,300
95048 Scordia (CT)
Tel.: +39 0957937111
Fax: +39 0957937192

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