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Worldwide lemon shortage hits Edmonton

If life hands you lemons, make your own lemon juice. That's what local fans of bottled lemon juice will have to do for the foreseeable future, thanks to a worldwide shortage of lemons. Those little plastic lemons and bottles of pre-squeezed juice have been hard to find in local grocery stores for several months now. Yet supplies of the fresh fruit seem plentiful as ever, perplexing many lemon-lovers.

The explanation lies in bad weather that has cut the global lemon supply by about 25 per cent, says Claire Smith, director of corporate communications for Sunkist.
Normally, Sunkist turns about 20 per cent of its lemon crop into juice. Because of a January, 2007 freeze in California and Arizona, that crop has been reduced, resulting in less juice. As well, drought and strong winds have hurt lemon crops in Spain and other lemon-growing Mediterranean countries, which supply much of the lemon-juice market.

This year's lemon crop in the U.S. looks much better, but the juice market isn't expected to be back to normal supply levels until next summer, says Smith.


Publication date: 10/1/2008


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