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Sicilian almonds are making a comeback

OP La Mandorla from Mazzarino (CL) represented the Sicilian dried fruit segment at Fruit Attraction 2021 in Madrid. President Rocco Selvaggio welcomed guests at the stand part of the ITA - ICE collective.

OP La Mandorla at Fruit Attraction 2021 in Madrid. Left to right: Giovanni Carmiciano, Rocco Selvaggio (President) and Gabriele Ferreri.

"Ours is the first producer organization in Italy dedicated entirely to almonds. We have come to Madrid to promote our business as well as the extraordinary organoleptic qualities of Sicilian almonds," reported Selvaggio.  

"Our objective is to strengthen the almond chain starting with production as Sicily, i.e. Italy, used to be the leading almond producer in the world. We would like for this sector to grow once again, expanding our groves as our productions achieve a unique quality. What is more, our produce does not travel thousands of km and can reach all of Europe and beyond in just a few days. At the moment, in fact, produce from overseas with a very low quality is mostly found on the market."

An OP La Mandorla almond grove

The chain is too fragmented at the moment, so the income does not correspond to the final value of the product. A production cost of €1.80-2.50 for 1 kg of almonds is considered good, but it does not correspond to a supermarket price of €1 for 40 grams of shelled product (imported and sometimes of poor quality, on top of being old) that is sometimes not even peeled and placed in packaging that is not really sustainable. 

Certainly Sicilian almonds are most suitable for high-patisserie and the top-end restaurant industry, rather than to be eaten as snacks (maybe salted and industrially processed). This is why the focus must be shifted to the chain, from the field to the destination channel, so that good part of the final value can be earned by producers rather than be lost in useless passages.

OP La Mandorla promotion and communication initiatives aim at improving its business culture and internationalization focusing on products and producers.

Example of a "Zaragoza" innovative grove

OP La Mandorla gathers around one hundred partners generating a turnover of approximately €3 million and covering around 2000 hectares in central and western Sicily. A series of activities to improve the skills of its members have also been recently implemented, including a three-day event with conventions and field visits with agronomist Vito Vitelli.

For further information:
Rocco Selvaggio
OP La Mandorla
Via Monfalcone, 32 (CL) – Italy
+39 3421918823
+39 330665198
cooplamandorla@gmail.com


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