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"More interest from abroad than from the domestic market"

Lemon campaign at its peak in southern Italy, but there are many difficulties

The Limorè brand lemon campaign is now at the peak of its harvesting and marketing phase, but according to Pietro Buongiorno, president of the Consorzio Produttori di Limoni Associati di Rocca Imperiale Consortium of Rocca Imperiale Lemon Growers), the challenges are always just around the bend.

"Although later than usual, the crop has reached the right color and size. However, there are still some critical problems in certain areas with medium to small sizes due to the anomalous and mild weather trend of the last few months. On the commercial front, we are seeing more interest from abroad than from the domestic market, with demand coming mainly from Germany, Great Britain and the United Arab Emirates. In Italy, we are experiencing some slowdown in sales due to increased imports from both EU countries, such as Spain, and non-EU countries, such as Morocco and Egypt. In fact, the latter suppliers, who until the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas used to ship to Asian and Arab markets, now prefer to export to Europe due to the uncertainty of crossing the Suez Canal with merchant ships at risk of attack by the Houthis, causing saturation in an already struggling market. Their selling prices are also more competitive than ours."

According to the manager, there should be a fair remuneration for all the operators involved in the supply chain. If possible, the aim should be to reduce some of the steps that are sometimes unjustified and inexplicable. "Often the two weaker parties are the producers, who cannot make ends meet, and on the other hand, consumers, who have no purchasing power when faced with unaffordable fruit and vegetables. Now more than ever, there is a need to network and grow together. In the production area of Rocca Imperiale there are still many small local producers who often find themselves alone in the face of commercial challenges and who end up becoming the target of speculation. Our Limoré Cooperative, which has been present on the markets and in supermarkets for 5 years now, has often had to turn down important partnerships because we did not have sufficient volumes to meet the many requests we received. Therefore, the next goal will be to increase the number of members who believe in our project and to increase the production from the current 70 hectares of PGI lemons to 100 or more, which will allow us to have important volumes and to plan the commercial phase with large retailers and national and international wholesalers."

The loyalty of the customers is the result of the professionalism, punctuality and quality of the supplies provided by the cooperative. "Our network business model has paid off, because we are one of the few companies located between Basilicata and Calabria (Sibaritide and Metapontino) that has provided and continues to provide all the necessary support to its members, including harvesting and collecting the crops, packaging, logistics, direct sales and agricultural consultation."

For more information:
Consorzio Produttori di Limoni Associati
Sede operativa, Contrada Mantice snc
87074 Rocca Imperiale (CS) - Italy
Tel.: +39 349 4694903
E-mail: info@limore.it
www.limore.it

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