“This has been the strongest Valencia season to date of a non-freeze year,” says Joan Wickham of Valencia, Ca.-based Sunkist Growers. “The short Navel crop this year bolstered the season, with an early and smooth transition into Valencias.”
Organics on the rise?
Looking ahead, Sunkist anticipates the high demand for the oranges to continue. “It’s back-to school period when consumers are looking for healthy and convenient snack options,” says Wickham.
Sunkist plans to ship Valencias through to mid-October, and that includes organic Valencias which will wrap shortly before the conventional crop of this variety. “Organics is a rapidly growing segment of the produce industry, and we’re seeing that growth in the citrus category as well,” says Wickham. “Sunkist’s growers have been increasing their production of organics to meet growing demand, Valencias included. As more acreage comes into production, our organic volumes of Valencias and other categories increase annually to keep up with opportunity.”
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