Survey Seeks Input on Fresh Fruit Decay

Ernie Neff Fresh

Florida growers, packers and shippers of fresh fruit are being asked to take a survey that will help guide programs addressing fresh fruit decay. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Mark Ritenour said he’d like as many survey responses as possible by mid-November. Ritenour said funding has been provided from a Florida Citrus Packers/U.S. Department of …

Fresh Citrus Production, Imports and Exports

Ernie Neff Fresh

U.S. citrus production for the fresh market was estimated at 3.45 million tons in 2020-21, down 6% from the previous season, with smaller fresh-market crops of oranges (down 11%), grapefruit (down 15%) and lemons (down 6%). The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reported the production levels in September. ORANGES DOWNRepresenting just under half of all U.S. citrus production …

Fresh Florida Citrus Marketing Order Continued

Ernie Neff Fresh, Marketing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that fresh citrus producers voted to continue the marketing order regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos grown in Florida. The marketing order requires a continuance referendum be held every six years. In a referendum held Oct. 19 to Nov. 9, 2020, 99 percent of Florida producers, representing 94 percent …

Sending Fresh Citrus out of Florida

Tacy Callies Fresh, Tip of the Week

By Mark A. Ritenour The holiday season is a busy time for sending friends and family thoughtful gifts. For Floridians, the abundance of fresh produce during the winter months motivates many to share the experience with others. This is especially true for fresh citrus. Florida’s citrus gift fruit shippers have been supplying such treats for decades. With COVID-19 and a …

Obtaining Optimal Peel Color of Fresh Florida Citrus

Tacy Callies Fresh

By Mark A. Ritenour and Fernando Alferez Color development in citrus during fruit maturation is a complex process that involves chemical and physiological changes. This includes chlorophyll (green pigments) breakdown and carotenoid (orange and yellow pigments) biosynthesis. The final color of each citrus variety mainly depends on the final composition of carotenoids, with citrus being among the richest fruit sources …

Florida’s Gift Fruit Industry Remains Resilient

Tacy Callies Fresh

Gift fruit shippers occupy just a small niche in Florida citrus, but the sector’s value to the industry is more than annual sales. For anyone seeking a taste of Florida citrus, regardless of where they are in the United States, gift fruit can be shipped with just a few clicks online or a simple telephone call to a Florida gift …

citrus crop forecast

New Global Citrus Event Coming Online

Ernie Neff Fresh

Fruitnet Media International and the World Citrus Organisation are teaming up to host the first-ever Global Citrus Congress Live on Nov. 5. The event is for everyone in the global supply chain of fresh citrus, from the farm gate to the supermarket shelf. The free-to-register online conference will focus on some of the big developments across the citrus category and …

Fresh Citrus Availability Declining in U.S.

Ernie Neff Fresh

Citrus accounted for 14 percent of the supply of fresh fruit available for Americans to eat in 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) reports. In 1970, citrus accounted for 24 percent of available fresh fruit. The drop from 24 percent to 14 percent over 48 years partly reflects American’s expanded fresh fruit options, ERS states. In …

Fresh Fruit Packers Announce Partnership

Ernie Neff Fresh, Industry News Release

Florida Classic Growers (FCG) announced a partnership with Riverfront Packing Company, LLC; The Packers of Indian River, Inc. and Quality Fruit Packers, Inc. The additional citrus volume from the partnering companies will expand product offerings and increase distribution to FCG’s customers marketed under the Florida Classic label. Riverfront and its marketing arm, Scott Marketing, Inc., will continue handling all sales …

Grower Cuts Costs and Gains Customer Loyalty

Tacy Callies Fresh, fruit

By Sarah Bostick Grocery stores have trained the customer to expect exactly one type of fruit: spotless. Anyone who grows citrus for a living knows that achieving spotless fruit can be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. There is a growing movement in the United States that is pushing back against the idea that fruits and vegetables must be spotless to …

South African Citrus to Arrive in U.S.

Ernie Neff Fresh

Summer Citrus from South Africa announced in late May that its first vessel of the year to the United States will arrive at the New York port soon. The vessel will deliver Easy Peeler clementines. More Easy Peelers and some Navel oranges will arrive in Philadelphia in late June. During peak season, Star Ruby grapefruit and Cara-Cara oranges will also …

Fresh Florida-Grown Citrus Sales to Increase

Ernie Neff Fresh, sales

Even with a projected downturn in production, “fresh citrus movement is projected to increase as a result of new plantings and other favorable conditions,” a Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) official reported recently. Florida Citrus Packers, the trade association for fresh fruit packers and shippers, agreed. Marisa Zansler, FDOC director of economic and market research, noted that the production forecast …

Reactions Vary on China Citrus Imports

Ernie Neff Fresh

Representatives of the California and Florida fresh citrus industries had distinctly different reactions to the announcement that some fresh citrus from China can now be imported into the United States. California Citrus Mutual President Casey Creamer said, “We don’t anticipate any major disruptions in our fresh markets. It is not anticipated that much volume will come to the U.S.” But …

Fresh Industry Faring Well During Coronavirus

Ernie Neff Fresh

So far, Florida’s fresh citrus industry reportedly has fared well throughout the coronavirus crisis, with fruit in high demand and no major problems blamed on the pandemic. Doug Bournique, executive vice president of the Indian River Citrus League, said consumer demand has kept packers in his region busy. “Their demand is strong from the supermarkets, the orders are up, and …

fresh

Keeping Fresh Fruit Marketable

Ernie Neff Fresh

Mark Ritenour with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) discusses research efforts to keep Florida’s fresh fruit marketable. Ritenour is a postharvest horticulturist at the Indian River Research and Education Center. Ritenour begins with maximum residue limit requirements for chemicals in fresh citrus for export. A UF/IFAS website provides pesticide residue limits by various major …

Fresh Fruit Is ‘All About the Box’

Ernie Neff Fresh

Polk County grower Ed Dickinson has good things to say about some orange-mandarin juice and fresh mandarins he sampled at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in November. Dickinson was one of dozens who tried new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) samples. He and others who scored the juice and fruit will help researchers …

mandarin

Evaluating Fresh Mandarins and Oranges

Ernie Neff Fresh

Mark Ritenour with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) reports on evaluations of new fresh mandarin and sweet orange selections. Ritenour is a professor at the Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce. Ritenour lists four mandarin varieties that had “100 percent healthy fruit” after six or seven weeks in storage, even without being …

Putting Fresh Fruit to the Test

Tacy Callies Fresh, fruit

Quality and shelf life were evaluated for new fresh mandarin and sweet orange selections. By Mark A. Ritenour, Cuifeng Hu, Yu Wang and Fernando Alferez New fresh citrus fruit selections continue to be developed and released by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, promising new varieties are …

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A Talk on the Fresh Side

Ernie Neff Fresh

Greg Nelson, president of Egan Fruit Packing in Fort Pierce, Florida, summarizes the status of the fresh citrus industry and discusses opportunities for the future. “We’ve seen a slight decline in fresh orange consumption over the past 20 years, but a more significant, dramatic decline in fresh grapefruit consumption,” Nelson says. “But a lot of that is driven by lack …

fresh

Fresh Citrus Shipments Continue to Drop; CAC Elections Coming

Ernie Neff Fresh

Fresh citrus shipments from Florida so far in the 2017–18 citrus season have fallen 37 percent below the previous season, reports Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC) Manager Duke Chadwell. “And that percentage has held true from the beginning of the season up until now,” he says. “However, I do anticipate as we move forward that that percentage is going to grow. …