OP Zuccarella, a cooperative specialized in growing and selling strawberries and citrus fruits, has launched a new brand to commercialize a wide range of oranges from Basilicata, Italy's fourth-largest citrus-growing region after Sicily, Calabria and Apulia.
"Lucano, the name of our new brand, is actually a word designating a native of Basilicata, which clearly indicates the origin of oranges, one of the most cultivated crops in our region," says Luca Zuccarella, commercial manager of the cooperative. "The aim is to create added value for both our own orange orchards and those of our member growers. The total area involved is around 200 hectares."
Several early, mid-late and late varieties of oranges grown using environmentally friendly techniques will be released under the Lucano brand. "The excellent acid/sugar ratio, juicy flesh and the yellow- orange hue are the main characteristics of these oranges," he said. The new label includes several varieties: Fukumoto (harvest from 1 to 20 October with a yield of 500 tons), VCR (from 20 October to 30 November - 1,200 tons), Newhall (from 30 October to 20 January - 1,500 tons), Lane Late (from 20 January to 15 March - 800 tons) and Navel Powel (from 20 February to the end of April - 700 tons)," continued Zuccarella.
The cooperative is active on Italian and European markets. More than 60% of its customers are local and foreign supermarket chains, mainly from France, Germany and the UK.
"I don't think we will have much difficulty in placing and making this new brand known to buyers thanks to our commercial outreach," resumes the manager. "We expect to send the first Lucano-branded pallets as early as the first ten days of October, but the timing will depend on the weather".
Packaging will also play an important role in brand loyalty, as the materials used not only highlight the actual product, but also have the smallest impact imaginable on the environment.
"Besides the recyclable 10 kg cardboard packaging for the large calibres, there will be smaller sizes available in netted bags of 1 to 3.5 kg. This is one way of meeting the needs of different markets and different consumption habits."
Zuccarella says the Lucano brand is now awaiting to be registered and that the next citrus season will see the launch of another brand, this time for clementines.