A programme to promote citrus commercialisation on the French, Russian, Algerian and other markets, besides domestic, has been accepted by the GIF (Inter-professionnal fruit group) in partnership with the concerned parties.
France is one of Tunisia’s main export markets and it has been decided that a programme aiming at the final consumer, wholesale intermediaries and large retailers should be set up. Therefore, a Maltese orange-tasting stand will be set up at the Salon d’Agriculture in Paris (25th February- 5th March 2017), where over 600,000 visitors are expected. A tasting day will also be organised in Nice. For intermediaries and wholesalers, advertising panels will be installed at the entrance of wholesale markets in Paris and Marseille for 3 months, as well as advertising in specialist magazines.
The Russian market will be targeted, exporters will be invited to access the market which has a good potential but high competition in terms of prices from produce from Turkey, Egypt and Morocco. The direct maritime line linking Tunisia to Russia (Sfax/Novorossiisk) will be available for exporters through the CTN (Tunisian Navigation Company), reducing transportation from 15 days to 6. The Minister of Agriculture also says that these exporters will also benefit from reduced transportation costs. The Department of Agriculture will also organise the export of 4-6,000 tons of citrus to Algeria for processing.
A programme to promote citrus consumption has also been developed for the local market. Sales points have been set up with produce sold directly from the producer to the consumer and increasing awareness within restaurants of the importance in prioritising citrus fruits rather than other imported produce is being carried out.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the citrus harvest should reach 560,000 tons this season, compared to 380,000 tons last season, i.e. a 47% increase. Maltese oranges have increased by 57% to 187,000 tons, Navels by 37% to 128,000 tons, Clementines and Mandarines by 55% to 106,000 tons, lemons by 55% to 72,000 tons, Meskis by 6% to 34,000 tons and other varieties by 12% to 32,000 tons.