The red orange arrives in Japan
The embargo caused by the Mediterranean fly is removed, red oranges go to Foodex Japan 2005
The Japanese will soon be able to taste our oranges. Next week they will land in Tokyo for the Foodex Japan 2005 fair, which is one of the most important food fairs in Asia. It will take place from 8th to 11th March at the Nippon Convention Centre, an important show-case for Sicilian products.
The Sicilian Region will be present this year with the added attraction of Sicilian red oranges. The Japanese footballer Atsushi Yanagisawa, who plays for Messina, will be our promoter through an agreement with the Sicilian Region, the University of Messina and Messina Football Club, to promote Sicilian traditions, culture and farm products in Japan.
The embargo has been removed, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce our oranges into Japan said Innocenzo Leontini, regional councillor for farming and forestry It is a reward for the diplomatic and scientific efforts we have made in order to overcome obstacles that seemed impossible a short time ago.
As a matter of fact, red oranges from Sicily were banned in Japan until a few months ago.
The reason was the Mediterranean fly, which lays its eggs in citrus fruit. It is common in the Mediterranean area, but does not exist in Asia.
After years of experiments and study carried out by the specialized research centres of the universities in the island, followed by a protocol with Japanese universities, a way of eliminating the parasite was found.
The method is cold treatment and was carried out on a load of tarocco oranges in a simulated commercial delivery, inside a refrigerated container for two weeks.
The low temperature freed the oranges of thirty thousand Mediterranean fly larvae which had been introduced artificially, thus eliminating the only obstacle for exporting citrus fruit to Japan.
This result Leontini commented is an important step forward for Sicilian economy and opens up vast quality markets.
Carmen De Domenico