"The Sicilian orange campaign ended in early May this year, i.e. one month early, due to the lively demand during the Covid emergency period," reports Aurelio Pannitteri, owner of the Rosaria brand.
"Although volumes were higher than the previous year, the turnover remained practically unvaried. We had to harvest the produce in a shorter period of time though and, as we do not sell produce that is not our own, the campaign ended on May 7th."
Of course other companies with later varieties finished after that date, but Pannitteri works mainly with blood oranges from the Etna area.
"The average production price was around €1.00/kg, except for the last few days when we registered peaks of €1.30. We are particularly pleased with the fact that most of our produce was sold on the domestic market, maybe because Italian consumers are more demanding when it comes to food security. The nutritional properties of Sicilian blood oranges and their high vitamin C content played a central role."
"Demand from abroad was also good, especially from Scandinavia, where the appreciation for our brand grows year after year. This year, we have also received the first small orders from the Dutch market. We are expecting to grow on this market thanks to our efficiency, reliability and, most of all, to the goodness of our oranges."
The Rosaria brand was among the first to export Sicilian blood oranges to China. What changed this year?
"On top of being among the first to export oranges to China, we were the only ones who shipped them by air. Unfortunately, the difficult situation on a global situation blocked these exports but, pandemic permitting, we are counting on restarting with the next season."