The blood orange season has begun and the first harvests have reached the tables this week, all thanks to the Sicilian company Oranfrizer. Asia and Northern Europe will be the destinations of 2021, with the hope that Covid-19 and Brexit will not impose any logistical obstacles to the entry of the fruit.
The first to taste the early Sicilian blood oranges are, as always, the Italians. In the second week of December the crops had the right ripeness and a light pigmentation.
Oranfrizer has never encouraged anticipating the time of supply of Sicilian blood oranges, because the company believes that the quality of the crops should be protected. For this reason, the oranges can only be ordered when they are ready to harvest. Nello Alba, director of Oranfrizer, explained how this works.
"With the arrival of the cold weather, blood oranges have turned into their typical pigmentation, which represents an added and distinctive value, not only for their organoleptic qualities but also for their consumption. The oranges are of relatively small caliber this season, but we don't have any problems with that. About 5 to 6 years ago we created new orchards and this year they will give citrus of large caliber. These are the varieties Tarocco Ippolito, Sciara, Meli and TDV," said Alba (in the photo).
"The quantities are good, but the commercial trend depends on many different factors. Currently, the growers' prices for blood oranges are between €0.35 and €0.60 per kilo, depending on the caliber. For ordinary oranges, this is between €0.30 and €0.35 per kilo. All the oranges distributed by Oranfrizer have an edible peel, including the blood oranges. In the coming weeks we will be reaching the markets of Norway and Great Britain, two of our top destinations in Europe".
Oranfrizer has become entirely part of international Unifrutti. The activities will continue as usual, because there is a great demand for Sicilian citrus from Italy as well as from the rest of the world. This way, Oranfrizer will be able to increase its expansion into Europe.
In order to stimulate global markets and increase knowledge of fresh and squeezed fruit, digital events were organized in November with CSO (Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli, fruit and vegetable service center) to celebrate the 'European Art Of Taste': Italian Fruit & Veg Masterpieces'. This has been an opportunity for a dialogue on exports with buyers from interested countries in webinars organized by Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
In terms of distribution and workforce, Oranfrizer has not encountered any problems related to the corona crisis. All necessary precautions have been taken to ensure a safe supply.
Therefore, the blood orange season should not be delayed. It will be characterized by an abundant supply, which will mainly consist of medium-caliber crops due to the Citrus tristeza virus. Thanks to the innovations in varieties that have been made over the last ten years, there will also be a significant supply of large-caliber citrus.