Carpentiere France is ending its season of citrus fruit from Sicily. It was a very “special” year because the Mediterranean island was the victim of climatic hazards. “A storm hit Sicily during the third week of February,” explains Alexandre Dudouit. “The fruit banged one another, which led to significant losses. We have lost nearly 1.5 million euros [1.6 million USD] in value for the citrus fruit.”
The Tarocco will be available for another month and the Tarocco Rosso for another 3 weeks.
This year’s weather conditions have rather disrupted the campaign. “We lost the entire plot that we were supposed to harvest at the beginning of March.” This situation is made even more difficult by the rising costs and food inflation. “It was absolutely necessary to raise prices, but we could not do it the way we wanted to.”
Higher prices due to the lack of calibers
“We had to go up to calibers 4 and 5,” explains Alexandre. “These are sizes that we do not normally work with in France and they also cost more.”
But small calibers are rare this year. “For the Tarocco Rosso, there are no calibers 8 or 9, and very few calibers 7 (10%). In calibers 7/8, the Tarocco did not even reach 20% and the Moro only about 15%.”
The situation has strongly “impacted the prices of private label and own brand products, with a nearly 20% increase. The Girsac fruit were sold at 2.20 € [2.36 USD], compared to 1.90 € [2.04 USD] at the same time last year. We are forced to increase prices, which is very difficult in the current economic context. We raised them two weeks ago for blood oranges, then there was a slight drop in consumption so we preferred not to raise them again. This week, we decided to increase them just a little bit.”
Very dynamic market for vegetables
This week, Carpentiere is starting with the first harvest of early potatoes from Sicily, the Arizona variety, which will be followed by the Spunta of Puglia in a few weeks. As for the round artichoke of Naples, sales have been very dynamic this year.
“There is a very high demand for vegetables at the moment, especially for celery, carrots and dry onions which have seen their prices double. Spring onions and fennel remain in high demand, which is normal this time of year.”
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