The citrus season in the northern hemisphere is slowly picking up speed. However, the relatively high temperatures (about 20 degrees) have significantly slowed down the growth of citrus in Sicily, as Nicoló Sparacino, specialized organic citrus importer and managing director of Biofruit Trading, based in Berlin, tells us.
"The citrus trees need cold nights; the hot weather of the last few weeks has led to a delay in the campaign, of about two weeks. Navelina blond oranges are already available in relatively good quantities, but the supply situation for clementines and lemons could be a bit better."
Organic citrus is now quickly finding its way to its respective buyers
The first organically cultivated Washington Navels are expected from the beginning of December. The first oranges of the Tarocco variety will probably have to wait until mid-December, Sparacino continues.
"Sicilian citrus is very popular in the German market, especially in the run-up to Christmas, and has a high recognition value, especially in specialized retail." Climate change, however, is increasingly causing problems for citrus growers, he said. "It's certainly the biggest challenge we face these days. We will inevitably have to get used to the fact that our citrus tends to hit the market later in relevant and quality volumes."
Expansion of the retail division
Sparacino opened a Sicilian retail store in the heart of Berlin five years ago now. In early December, he will open a second store in Berlin-Schöneberg with a sales area of about 50 m2. Marketed will be a colorful range of foods from small-scale farming, from fruits and vegetables to wine and dairy.
Sparacino: "It is particularly important to us to support the small farmers from our homeland and to make it possible for them to export abroad - without intermediary trade. In the beginning, it was sometimes difficult to bring people closer to our seasonal and diverse assortment, but in the meantime our authentic concept is finding increasing acceptance among urban consumers."
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