Italian clementines to compete with Spanish

The Calabre region has invested in clementine production, aiming to counteract Spanish production. Calabre produces half of all Italian clementines. The harvest is of high quality and hand picked.

“It is a fruit with very fine skin, very fragile, if we don’t hand pick it gets damaged” explains Ionella Giuglieta, clementine picker. Each worker picks at least half a ton of fruit per day.

For the first time the producers hope to be in competition with Spanish production, notably by targeting the French market. 

Until now Italy has produced 400,000 tons of clementines per year, three times less than Spain. A new strategy to introduce different varieties should help them increase Italian production. “We have introduced 10 or so different varieties, which allows us to harvest clementines from the start of October through until the end of February” explains Francesco Perri, agronomist. 

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