Thomas Naimi, Peruzzo:

“The demand for Italian citrus fruits is growing in France”

Historical producer of Italian citrus fruits for over 50 years, the Peruzzo group is expanding its range this year with new original references. The 11 varieties of citrus fruit offered will include, for the first time, a peculiar orange with vanilla flavors.

“The Vanilla Orange is very popular around the Christmas holidays. It is an interesting product because it is unusual without being a niche product. Its prices are closer to those of a blood orange rather than the more classic varieties, but as it is an orange, it remains affordable. The season started at the beginning of December and will end in March. This year marks the official launch of the variety and the production is good. We currently import about 5 tons of this variety per week, for stores and wholesalers who then supply restaurants,” explains Thomas Naimi, sales manager supermarkets at Peruzzo.

“We sell natural products at affordable prices so a majority of people can enjoy them”
The company does not sell organic Italian citrus fruits yet, but the production is as natural as possible. “We will soon receive the organic certification. Next year, 30% of our products will be certified organic. However, we did not wait for the label in order to offer products meeting social, environmental and societal requirements. There is a real desire on the part of the company to achieve a certain level of naturalness. For the Fine de Calabre clementines, we did not wait for the AGEC law to offer cardboard packaging. We want to sell natural products at a market price so that they can benefit as many people as possible. We therefore work with very little stock, which allows us to guarantee the freshness of our products and limit post-harvest treatments so as to gain in naturality. This system also helps us reduce intermediaries which naturally lowers the prices.”

“Our strength: being one of the few Italian producers for the French market”
For several years, Peruzzo has seen the demand for Italian citrus fruit increase significantly in France. "This is due to a number of factors. For the sake of geographical proximity, some French consumers now prefer to turn to the Italian production as it feels more local than the Spanish one, which is not always very well perceived. Italian agriculture also has the advantage of being mostly represented by smaller-scale family-owned farms which are very flexible in the choice of products to be cultivated. This allows us to increase our production depending on the market. Today, we sell approximately 3,000 tons of citrus fruit per year to wholesalers or directly to the stores. We also organize displays and events very often in the stores in order to make our products known to the customers.”

The offer of the Peruzzo group include the Vanilla Orange, Chocolate Orange, Grapefruit Orange, Sanguinello Orange, New-hall Orange, Fine de Calabre Clementine, Blood Clementine, Frizante Pink Clementine, PGI Mandarin, Bergamot Lemon and Citron Cédrat, two varieties of lemons available 11 months out of 12. 

For more information:
Thomas Naimi

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