"I believe that, from May/June onward, there will be a general drop in consumption with an additional damage for Italian produce exports. This will be a consequence of the domino effect deriving from the fact that northern Europe has underestimated the effects of Covid-19. Germany and the United Kingdom in particular have not followed Italy promptly implementing containment measures. Their delayed spread of the virus was their only hope of saving many human lives," explains Walter Ansorge, sole administrator of Sicilian company SunProd Srl.
SunProd was established in 2011 in Catania, in the fertile Etna Plain, an ideal location for the production of pigmented oranges. The company specializes in citrus fruit, but also processes pomegranates, peaches, Cantaloupe melons, watermelons and grapes.
The fruit comes mainly from Sicily and Calabria (60%) followed by South America (25%) and the Mediterranean basin (15%).
"As known, there has been a constant lack of raw material over the past few years due to the increasingly unpredictable weather. In lean years, the percentage of citrus fruit traditionally destined to the industry (usually small grades) is destined to the fresh market and, whenever we find them, prices are steep."
SunProd does not deal with juice production directly, but thanks to its collaboration with facilities in Italy and abroad, it specializes in the commercialization of semi-processed products destined to both the Italian and foreign market.
Products are then sent to companies producing fruit juice, pharmaceutical companies as well as perfume and food aroma producers. 30% of volumes is sent to Italy, 30% to Europe and 20% to extra-EU countries such as Asia, Africa, the US and Saudi Arabia.
Every year, SunProd handles:
- 3-3,500 tons of concentrated lemon juice
- 2,000 tons of natural lemons
- 2,000-2,500 tons of concentrated orange juice
- 3-4,000 tons of natural oranges
- 7-8 tons of pomegranates, grapefruit, tangerines and bergamot oranges;
- around 250 tons of essential oils of orange, lemon, tangerine and bergamot orange and their derivatives
The company employs the latest equipment and technology and holds certifications such as BRC, IFS, GlobalGAP and SGR. All products are checked and processed respecting environmental sustainability following the most modern processes for the production of juice, concentrate and essential oil so as to guarantee their stability and solubility.
The company also works with co-packers in Sicily, Calabria, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Bolivia and South America.
"The consequences of the lack of raw material mean we will not be able to fully honor our commitments when it comes to the quantities envisaged at the start of the campaign. What is more, due to the current emergency, fewer operators are at work making logistics and transfer more difficult."
The solutions proposed are suitable for the development of Food&Beverage products with particular focus on the main beverage sectors. SunProd also works closely with clients on innovation. It is quite a specialized sector where the knowledge of market dynamics and of the relative chains counts for a lot.