There seems to be a great interest in Bergamot oranges from Reggio Calabria (Italy) overseas as well, especially in Asia. Consumers are interested in their nutritional, antioxidant and healthy properties, which have been proven by scientific research.
In the photo, Serena Fortugno, owner of Il Bergamotto di Fortugno
“Recently, 48 hours after giving the go-ahead via e-mail to a troupe from Korean broadcaster Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), journalists and photojournalists arrived to get to known this citrus fruit directly in the Gallina-Armo territory," reports Serena Fortugno, owner of Il Bergamotto di Fortugno and the first women to inherit the experience her family gained over one hundred years.
The interview focused on the cultivation of Bergamot oranges in the PDO area, which stretches from Villa San Giovanni to Gioiosa Jonica in Calabria.
The Fortugno family has been dealing with the cultivation and processing of fresh Bergamot oranges for four generations, obtaining pure juice with no added sugar, flavored honey, flavored extra-virgin olive oil as well as the essence, which is extracted between October and March.
Three species are cultivated: femminello, which has small grades and a thin peel and is used mainly for cooking; castagnaro, which has larger grades and is therefore suitable for the extraction of the prestigious essential oil; and fantastico, very similar to femminello but with a broader use.
"We grow natural fruits that are not subject to treatments, the small spots on the fruit are proof of it. Journalists from the Korean broadcaster (MBC) were enchanted by the beauty of the scenery and of the cultivated area with the lush vegetation surrounded by the Strait. The Asian markets are interested in this fruit also because Bergamot oranges are an ally when it comes to losing weight, as the polyphenols they contain have proven useful in modulating lipid metabolism, facilitating weight loss when combined with sports," explains sales manager Carmelo Gulli.
“We process approximately 600 tons of Bergamot oranges obtained from our groves and those of our partners. Part of the production not suitable for the fresh produce market is turned into juice, available in 200 and 700 ml bottles and sold to big retail chains and the ice-cream and restaurant sector. Essential oil from the peel is instead used by the perfume industry. A small part of the turnover deriving from exports comes from Germany and Belgium, where the products are distributed in small supermarket chains."
"We aim at building a structured chain to safeguard our PDO and our Bergamot oranges, which often have to deal with the unfair competition of productions from outside the province and even outside the region. Our future projects include expanding the cultivated areas and renewing processing lines with state-of-the-art technology. Our priority remains defending an eco-friendly and sustainable chain with a low environmental impact."
For further information:
Il Bergamotto di Fortugno
Via Trappeto, 30
89131 Gallina (RC)
+39 328 6384762
+39 0965 682794