One may consider brokerage activities to be a thing of the past and a not-so-calculated risk. But then there are years such as this one, where citrus production is lower than normal while demand is suddenly sky-high due to an unpredictable pandemic. The ones who benefit from this are those who had already purchased stocks oranges, lemons and other citrus fruit in October, November and December 2019.
It is the case of Michele Sodano (in the photo below), a young trader and representative of Ortofrutta Mele, a company specializing mainly in the trade of table grapes and citrus fruit which is then sold in Naples and abroad.
Michele does not hide his enthusiasm for the exceptional results of the citrus fruit campaign, especially when it comes to pigmented oranges. "We purchase these fruits from the Palagonia (CT) area, where they mainly grow an old Tarocco clone, Tarocco Gallo. We purchased 3000 tons altogether and, now that demand exceeds supply by far, final sales prices greatly paid off. Those who purchased oranges 15 or 20 days ago actually lost their money!"
"Despite the blood orange campaign already being over for some operators, we are still shipping and will have produce available at least until late April. This is a record for us and we have registered a 70% increase in the product handled. This is the effect the Coronavirus pandemic has had on the entire citrus fruit sector."
In the meantime, Michele decided to use a drawing made by his nephews wishing for a recovery after the pandemic as a band for orange crates to spread the message of hope.
"The harvesting of the blonde oranges we purchased this year for the first time from a company in Giarre (CT) will start in a few days' time. They are of the Valencia variety and it is the first time we have purchased them in Sicily, as we usually sourced them from Puglia or Spain. This year, however, there are a few more logistic difficulties for the Spanish produce due to the pandemic. There are no problems on the domestic market, as we have a fleet of our own trucks that deliver the produce in Campania and return to Sicily to be reloaded."
In the photo: the lemon (left) and orange (right) harvest
Ortofrutta Mele expects to ship 2000 tons of Valencia oranges, while lemons are always available. "I have been following the Sicilian citrus fruit campaign for months, as this is not a job that can be improvised. Due to the high demand, I have been working non-stop, but my efforts are repaid in full."
Cell.: +39 333 3367869
Ortofrutta di Mele Carmela sas
Via Orlando 29
80049 Somma Vesuviana (NA)
Tel.: +39 (0)81 5307933
Fax: +39 (0)81 5308624