"We started the citrus fruit campaign with the Navelina variety, though with a delay of a few weeks and a 20% drop in volumes compared with the previous year. Commercialization will liven up in early December with Tarocco blood oranges, though there will be difficulties linked with the drop in consumption caused by the crisis that is affecting the purchasing power of families," reports Lucio Oliveri, sole administrator of Motta Cooperativa Agricola, which commercializes a particular Tarocco variety sold under the Fragolino Arancia Rossa® brand.
Lucio Oliveri, sole administrator of Motta Cooperativa Agricola
Motta Cooperativa Agricola was set up in 2005 thanks to the initiative of 21 producers highly skilled in the cultivation and commercialization of citrus fruits - clementines, tangerines, Moro, Navelina, Sanguinello and Tarocco oranges in particular.
The company land covers 230 hectares in total and is located on the fertile Motta Sant'Anastasia plain (CT). The fruits are not treated and are processed in a large facility equipped with state-of-the-art cold storage units, a warehouse and three new processing lines.
"As for production, the price increases affecting energy, logistics, packaging and raw materials reflect on the prices of the final products, which reach the shelves with high quotations. It is important to find a balance between production and distribution so that producers can face cost increases and obtain enough margin to make the investments necessary to produce nice and healthy fruits."
The company's flagship product is Fragolino®, a profitable fruit that draws the attention of consumers for the unique characteristics typical of Tarocco Lempso: the red flesh with a unique flavor and an extraordinary pigmentation of the peel and flesh.
“Compared with blonde varieties, Fragolino is mostly requested by foreign countries, which amount to 50% of the total turnover. It is a Nucellare clone of the Tarocco variety known as Tarocco Lempso and registered by the cooperative with the name Il Fragolino Arancia Rossa® due to its distinct strawberry aftertaste. The high sugar content - which reaches 13-14 degrees Brix when fully ripe - the prolonged shelf-life and the tendency to maintain intact thanks to the intrinsic characteristics of the peel make this fruit suitable to be exported to faraway destinations."
Motta Cooperativa Agricola commercializes citrus fruit on the domestic market. It is also present in northern Europe, especially with pigmented varieties (Tarocco Lempso and Ippolito). Orders from abroad grow by 20% a year on average, mainly Switzerland, Germany, France, Sweden and the Netherlands, which have a preference for untreated products grown in a sustainable manner that respects the environment.