"This year's citrus ripening was delayed due to temperatures higher than the seasonal average. However, there was a good market at the beginning of the campaign, with sustained prices. Customers from all over Europe have adapted to the less uniform coloring of the fruit", said Antonio Malagrinò, sales manager of the Calabrian AGRIFAAM, speaking about the clementine season.
"Unlike other years, we are experiencing a slight decline in sales due to the cold weather that took a long time to arrive, low purchasing power and inflation that continues to affect consumption. As a result, current prices are in the average to medium low range. Overall, we could say that the clementine season has never really taken off," continues Malagrinò. "Compared to other areas of Calabria, where production has fallen by as much as 30 percent, we are lucky not to have seen a decline. The harvest is of very good quality, it is well managed in the warehouse and the sizes are average. We have been working for about 45 days now and there have been almost zero complaints.
For December and January, the sales manager expects good sales of the common clementine. Then it will continue with the late varieties.
Calabrian PGI Clementines
"For two years we have been involved in the Consortium for the Protected Geographical Indication of Calabrian Clementines and we are satisfied with the work we have done. The development of the Calabrian organic product with this denomination means that the clementines are not standardized but have a name and a surname. They are gaining recognition on the markets", emphasizes Malagrinò.
"We are devoting a lot of effort to the promotion of Calabrian PGI Clementines, especially in France, where the response has been excellent. Our organic citrus fruit is well positioned in the French market thanks to the collaboration with large French groups, and it is much preferred to a mass-produced product of foreign and local origin, leading to an increase in sales".
The Calabrian PGI Clementines are sold in a carton package, which is also appreciated in Germany, as well as in France and Italy. "In the Italian market, we have diversified our sales channels in the last two years, not only with wholesalers and specialty stores, but also with the large-scale retail chains.
Twenty-seven years in the organic sector
The Malagrinò family has a strong commitment to the cultivation of organic products. "This year is the 27th anniversary of our organic production; there have been a lot of changes in the course of time. At the end of the 1990s, I remember loading containers of organic citrus fruit onto trucks, and the more defects the product had, the more it was considered to be natural and tasty. Nowadays, the standardization of organic produce is increasing, making it look more similar to conventional produce. This is an aspect that I do not like, because organic products should stand out from the rest. There's been an upsurge in the use of bulk and wooden containers. "Also, the production prices of organic products are almost the same as conventional products, but when it comes to sales, we see high prices that discourage purchases most of the time, especially in times of inflationary crisis like now.
Recycled wood, a completely new material for clementine crates
"Starting this year, we have introduced a crate made of recycled wood. This is our practical response to environmental protection. We want to make our contribution and become carbon neutral by 2030. In France, this type of eco-friendly packaging has been very successful," concludes Mr. Malagrinò.
Photos of the article provided by Antonio Malagrinò
For more information:
Antonio Malagrinò - responsabile commerciale
Alfonso Malagrinò - responsabile qualità e logistica
Maria Malagrinò - amministrazione
AGRIFAAM Soc. Coop. Agr.
87064 Corigliano-Rossano (CS) - Italy
+39 0983 524433