An ideal maturity with an optimal balance between acidity and sugar and an adequate consistency in skin and color. These are the qualities that give Valencian oranges a special distinction within the national and international market and that are upheld by the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Citrus Valencianos. “The quality figures are increasing and among citrus consumers there is a need to distinguish Valencian citrus from those of the rest of the regions”, values the president of this organization, José Enrique Sanz.
What is the reason for this uniqueness that makes Valencian orange so appetizing? “The climate,” says Sanz. “The mild days and the cool nights, not frost, allow our oranges to be grown in an optimal climate to obtain that ideal maturity and that consistency in skin and color that distinguish them”, he explains.
The IGP Cítricos Valencianos began its journey in 1999 “from scratch, with very few warehouses”, but since then it has had a progression that in the last three years has accelerated considerably. During much of their history they had between 30 and 37 stores … until two years ago they were placed at 47, the past at 55 and now at 61. «In addition, we have evidence that there is interest from new stores to join the next few months “, adds its president. Of course, not just any warehouse can join the PGI: only those that pack oranges of high first quality or extra are accepted. And not all the oranges in those warehouses are designated with the quality of Cítricos Valencianos. “The quality seal of our IGP accompanies the best brands of each operator”, clarifies Sanz.
If the number of IGP stores has grown significantly in the last three years, so has the number of kilos: «In three years we have increased by 70%. We have been in record quantities since we started ”, points out Sanz, who, even so, insists that the figures collected by the IGP are not comparable with those collected throughout the Valencian Community.
Likewise, the president of the IGP Cítricos Valencianos also highlights the fact that more and more commercial chains are betting on oranges with the IGP seal: «We have gone from 2 to between 14 and 15. In the Valencian Community we are present in El Corte English, Consum and Masymas ».
“Within the COVID context, March was a problem for the warehouses, which had to adapt to the circumstances with the safety distances, the PPE, the shifts … although it is true that they were already normally very hygienic” , points out Sanz regarding the impact that the beginning of the pandemic had on the body that he presides. However, he assures that the IGP has come out stronger: «The effort was rewarded. In the summer months there was much more demand, especially in Europe, both in quantity and price.
And for the near future? “For this season there has been a problem, since we have not had the medium size we wanted due to the lack of rain and it has also been less cold, but now with the arrival of the cold we hope that the demand and value of the product will increase. We will have the ideal quantity to supply the market. The prospects are very positive. There is more and more demand for local, zero kilometer product, and of quality ”, predicts Sanz.
Growth, more than 60 warehouses incorporated in two decades
The seal of the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Cítricos Valencianos was born in 1999 with few associated stores, according to its president, José Enrique Sanz. Its first two decades of life have served to consolidate a brand that now already has 61 stores, of which 14 have been incorporated in the last two years. With this progression, which according to Sanz, given the interest shown by other stores, will continue in the coming months, the IGP tries to get more and more producers to work to increase the quality of their oranges with a view to better marketing. To be part of this seal, rigorous and strict controls have to be passed to ensure the quality of the product. As Sanz insists, the IGP seal accompanies the best brands of each operator.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.