Italy - What's going on with clementines?

30.11.2021 320 views

As is well known, the clementine harvest in Italy is down about 50% this year. Usually in seasons of high production, the citrus remains moderately small, but when the harvest is halved, as is the case now, the citrus has a larger caliber. The truth is that the weather patterns of the last few weeks put growers in a difficult situation, as temperatures in the various Italian growing regions are above the seasonal average.I

In hot weather, clementines undergo a special phenomenon whereby their skin swells, and the clementine becomes larger, making it unsuitable for many markets. A problem that occurs even before the fruit is fully colored. In this unusual autumn, temperatures are still above 20°C, with mostly sunny days and an insignificant temperature difference between day and night.

"So far, about 40% of the clementines have been harvested. However, we have a large percentage of waste. This year we have found many large clementines in the facilities, which the large retail chains do not want," explained a number of growers from Apulia and Basilicata.

"Many growers have postponed the harvest hoping to get a few cents more, but the hot weather has caused much of the crop to swell. Right now, prices are either comparable to the same period in 2020 or dropping. To make matters worse, there has been a lack of organization in the industry for a long time. There is a competition between trading companies that only unbalances the market and creates general confusion. This has never been different, and this does not produce any results. In addition, the lack of manpower remains a problem and this year the problem has become even more complicated. There is a lack of specialized personnel."

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