Giovanni Scavo, sales manager for Girasole Soc. Coop, reports that the citrus fruit campaign in Sicily was characterized by larger volumes and smaller grades. Compared to last year, in fact, the company -located in Paternò, right at the foothills of Mount Etna - produced 30% more fruits.
In the photo: Giovanni Scavo, sales manager of Girasole Soc. Coop.
The commercial calendar of Il Girasole lasts all year round thanks to its early and late varieties. The main varieties are: Navel, Tarocco, Moro, Sanguinello, Nova clementines, late tangerines from Ciaculli, apricots, peaches and nectarines.
Il Girasole - equipped with a renewable energy system that means it is self-sufficient when it comes to storage and processing - is among the first companies to use clean energy with a low environmental impact and is minimally polluting.
"The drought that hit our territory between spring and early November favored setting, improving the quality and organoleptic characteristics of the fruit, which will be truly excellent. Unfortunately, the rain of the past few days is slowing down operations, but we are expecting a good year even though oranges have medium-small grades. This condition, which is linked to climatic factors and is also due to the current economic situation in the country, leads to lower prices.
In the photo, Carmelo Tripoli, president of Il Girasole Soc. Coop.
The Sicilian citrus fruit market is of course affected by the ongoing pandemic and especially by the closings in the H&R sector and of the local markets.
The big retail channel holds on, even though supply exceeds demand leading to prices below the average. Large grades continue holding prices that do not fear the competition.
Il Girasole started harvesting Naveline oranges in November and will continue until early January, while the Tarocco Nucellare campaign has just started. The Moro variety, grown on 300 hectares, will become available as of next week.
"While 'blonde' oranges will only be available on the domestic market due to the competitiveness on a global level (mainly from Spain and North Africa) and the ongoing price war, 'blood' oranges will indeed be available abroad as part of our project to grow and develop our business," continued president Carmelo Tripoli and production manager Mario Tripoli.
In the photo: Mario Tripoli, production manager at Il Girasole Soc. Coop.
"We have already approached Germany and demand is coming in from north-east Europe. We are waiting a few days for the Moro variety, as we are waiting for pigmentation to improve further now that temperatures are finally cooler."
The company has also been working on marketing to tackle the new season. "We have restyled our logo and packaging and have even strengthened our digital presence. We are aiming at making our brand even more recognizable in line with the investments made over the past few years to increase the value of our team's hard work."