Sicilian company Oranfrizer has been presented with a Special & Different Award by upmarket UK retail chain Marks & Spencer (M&S) during a ceremony held at Fruit Logistica 2018 in Berlin.
The prize, which recognised the company’s range of unique red-fleshed citrus varieties, was collected by the group’s chief executive Nello Alba and export manager Sara Grasso.
Oranfrizer suppliers a number of different varieties of red orange – including Tarocco Ippolito, Lempso and Nocellare – as well a red-fleshed mandarin marketed as Mandared, all of them grown on the Plain of Catania.
Following the award ceremony, Sara Grasso said: "On one hand this award rewards Oranfrizer, which has reached what in Sicily is an unrivalled level of knowhow and experience in growing and selling many red orange varieties.
“On the other hand, we have also received this award because M&S has recognised our fruit as distinctive and has been able to present them well to consumers, communicating the right value and quality of that fruit, which is unique in origin, quality, flavour and beauty.
“When we all focus together on innovation and quality, we can see the result in our sales success, although this award has exceeded our expectations.”
Nello Alba commented: “The red orange continues to be one of the most representative ‘Made in Italy’ fruits, and we will continue to focus attention on this fruit in national and global markets, as we have been doing for over fifty years, preserving its value and improving its sales performance over time.
He added: “We will continue to expand exports of our Italian citrus fruits. They are unique in the world, and the red orange is the most typical fruit and most healthy symbol of our Sicilian island.”