Although the climate change in the current era is creating new opportunities for Sicilian producers regarding the cultivation of crops, the weather is also causing them some difficulties. The excess sunshine and lack of rainfall is particularly noticeable in the citrus sector. “Increased volumes from Sicily are one month late this year. The first blood oranges of the season usually always come from Sicily, but this year the starting signal was given in Calabria,” says specialist wholesaler Lino Manduca of the Albstadt company Italia Natur.
The experienced owner imports his fresh products directly from the important growing areas of Italy. According to Manduca, however, this year’s marketing situation for citrus fruits is unique. “The weather in Sicily has had a serious impact on the product quality of oranges: With blond oranges, the skin is sometimes totally shrivelled, although the inside of the fruit is usually of good quality. In the case of blood oranges of the Tarocco variety, on the other hand, the pulp is also affected and the colouring is far from being as good as it should be. Normally, blood oranges are bright red at this time of year.”
There is not only negative news from the production area of Sicily, as strawberry cultivation has been developing rapidly in recent years. “Much has been invested in modern tunnel facilities, which has led to a considerable increase in production volume. In view of the good product quality, I see an interesting marketing potential for Sicilian strawberries.”
Price concession and market forecast
Manduca confirms that the current weather situation on the Italian island has also had an impact on pricing. “Citrus fruits from the Calabria production area are normally always cheaper than those from Sicily. Due to the better product quality, however, Calabria is now more expensive. I have never experienced a similar situation in my whole life”, says the retailer. “Due to the late start of the season, the harvest is postponed. Some growers even consider not picking the fruit at all. In any case, I hope that not all oranges reach the market in a flood.”
Source – https://www.freshplaza.com