"Nature has its own rhythms and there is nothing we can do about it. This year, it led to smaller grades for Sicilian blood oranges, though this is actually a reflection of how our produce is fully natural," reports Aurelio Pannitteri, a citrus fruit entrepreneur based in Sicily and known all over the world for his "Rosaria" brand.
"No one should belittle the value of an excellent orange just because it is smaller than average. It would contradict all consumption trends advocating healthy and natural products. The nutritional and vitamin characteristics of our Baby Rosaria Rossa are identical to those of well-known unique blood oranges from Etna."
"It has happened before - and it is bound to happen in the future - that grades are not exactly standard, at least according to certain parameters: it is the natural consequence of a dry summer that made emergency irrigation necessary. We are located in Sicily, and our sub-tropical climate always holds surprises."
Small grades? The paradox of an exceptional orange
"In these cases, the paradox is that the fruit is even juicier and more aromatic despite the smaller grades. What is more, temperatures are perfect this year and it snowed on Mount Etna - a perfect combination for fruit pigmentation. Our Baby Rosaria Rosse oranges contain 40% more vitamin C on average compared to other oranges, to not mention the anthocyanin content that is much appreciated by consumers due to its beneficial effects for the human organism."
"Good flavor, health and nutritional properties are the elements people consider when choosing an orange. As a company, we focus on sustainable agriculture so as to respect workers, consumers and the environment. Smaller grades do not worry us, we are confident consumers and partners will recognize the value of our oranges."