The high temperatures in Sicily seem to be over as the temperatures are starting to drop. This will benefit citrus in more ways than one.
"The return of the cold weather is good for the citrus market, for both the shelf life and, on the other hand, the upturn in consumption, especially of juices. This has enabled us to place even the medium-sized fruits, with a recovery in sales. We are very satisfied, despite the continuing crisis caused by Covid, the lack of economic security, and the continuous ravages of the volcano Mount Etna which, with its paroxysmal activity and consequent rain of ash, has damaged and scratched the fruit,” said Giovanni Scavo, sales manager of the Sicilian company Il Girasole, run by the Tripoli family.
Director of the Il Girasole cooperative Carmelo Tripoli and production manager Mario Tripoli
Il Girasole's calendar covers the whole year, with early and late varieties. The most important are: Navel, Tarocco, Moro, Sanguinello, Nova clementines and late Ciaculli tangerine, apricot, peach and nectarine.
"Fortunately, we have not suffered from the heat of the volcano's eruptions. The damage was mainly caused by the ash particles and small stones, which damaged the citrus. In February and March, we recorded an increase in orders, some 30 to 40% higher than the previous season. This came mainly from the food retail sector and from abroad, especially from Germany," said Carmelo and Mario Tripoli.
This trend should ensure that the citrus season ends on a positive note. "The ongoing eruptions of Mount Etna have also had their impact. We therefore hope that the current market trend can compensate for the losses".
At the moment Il Girasole is focused on the last phase of the harvest, with the medium-late oranges of the varieties Tarocco di Gallo, Sciara, Meli and Sant'Alfio. "Currently we also have late Ciaculli mandarins available, on 15 April the final harvest of the Tarocco Meli will be completed and the season will end in May with Sant'Alfio," said Giovanni Scavo.
The cooperative has achieved one success after another on the slopes of Mount Etna and, thanks to its new look and a revamped brand, labels, and packaging, has won over distributors and consumers.
Il Girasole is a company that, even in critical times such as these, has continued to invest in a specialized team, machinery, resources and communication, and has proved to be very far-sighted and confident about the future.