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Seedless mandarins produced in an environmentally-friendly manner
Producing seedless fruits in an environmentally-friendly manner is now possible, as demonstrated by the new seedless mandarin grown by a Brazilian company.
Practically all fruits in the most recent harvest were seedless, with 99.4% of the fruits with zero seeds and 0.6% with between 1 and 3 seeds. César Killer, of GCKon, explains that in his company, they feel "proud about our respect for nature, since we care for and protect our bees. We don't need to cover the plants during the flowering; we adhere to the initial planning and place the plants in an isolated place, with the nearest orchards 1 km away. We also use wind curtains against pollens, so that our bees do not represent a threat to the crops."
Moreover, GCKon uses products of physiological, biological and natural origin that they denominate FiBiNa. "We have a team of notable professional advisors and respected friends in the area of entomology, such as Professor Santin Gravena, expert on healthy and sustainable agriculture; Celso Tomita, an agricultural physiologist; agronomist Cleber Maciel and Hamilton Ramos, an expert in application technology," explains Killer
"We launched the project in 2007 with the goal of exporting the fruits. In the beginning, we went through a long period in which it was difficult to close export deals, so we created a solution for the product's sale in the local market. At that point, we started rethinking the production to able to meet the needs of Brazilian consumers, who prefer fruits with large calibres. Our only challenge is managing to sell the spring production at good prices."
Killer explains that "seeking to innovate, we have aimed to produce in the off-season and now we are pioneers in this field. We have managed to stimulate two off-season flowerings, one in spring and one in autumn, which is harvested in summer. In this way, we offer fruits for 10 months in the local market under our registered trademark Verona, which was a pioneer in the seedless mandarin market."
"We are pioneers in the physiological management of HLB and we are managing to produce fully natural Verona mandarins with love and dedication on our part."
Innovating to overcome the crisis
Due to the political and economic crisis that Brazil has been experiencing in recent years, the harvests have been hurdled by increasingly common difficulties. The only solution to this problem is to innovate. GCKon has chosen to bet on the local market, with the challenge of exporting again in 2018. To achieve this, they have had the production certified by GlobalGap, and the first containers have recently been shipped to Canada, adhering to the production programs for shipments to the United States and the European Union.
"The current harvest is suffering delays due to the very hot winter and lack of low temperatures, which result in a poor colouring, but we are expecting the export of 50 forty-foot containers, which is a good and satisfying start for us," says César Killer.
Killer also stated that in the local market, "we are innovating and have launched a marketing campaign with an investment of $ 100,000, with promotions on social and outdoor media, magazines, TV, etc., advertising our brand Verona and stimulating the consumption of seedless mandarins."
GCKon is a family business which has been devoted to the production of citrus fruits for more than 30 years. Based in the north-west part of the State of Săo Paulo, they are always seeking to introduce innovations and accumulate experience in order to maintain a prominent position in the table citrus market.
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