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Brazil remains largest supplier of lime
From Brazil, limes are basically available throughout the year. Starting this year, Denimpex markets Brazilian limes under the brand ‘Delicio Frutas’. Joey: "Brazilian limes are available year-round, but specific point of origin may vary. In the warm north, where they grow 365 days a year, limes only need to be watered, whereas in the south you’re dealing with seasonal changes. In this region, limes are not available all year round."
Growing domestic market
Brazil remains the largest supplier of limes to Europe. According to Joey, acreage in Brazil is ever-increasing. More limes, though, remain inside the country because of the growing domestic market. Also, other destinations such as the Middle East, are increasingly preferred over Europe. If a market opens up in nearby countries, this decreases European supply. Mexico, to name just one alternative venue, took in a lot of limes to compensate for bad weather, so there was less available for the European market. And even though Mexico itself increasingly ships out limes to Europe, these volumes are not yet comparable with those emanating from Brazil.
"It’s suggested that Mexican limes are more expensive than Brazilian, but keep in mind that you pay extra for the Brazilian produce because the import duty from Mexico is 0%. In addition, Mexican limes might be darker in colour, but the limes from Brazil are much juicier. The colour formation is important for the quality of the fruit. The darker the colour, the better. For this purpose, it’s essential that the temperature differences are not too great. Spanish limes, for example, grow orange in colour because the climate is characterized throughout the season by warm days and cold nights. Limes from Cuba on the other hand, are dark green."
The limes from Brazil are renowned for their succulence. “The climate in Brazil is very suitable for the cultivation of the fruit. Commercial cultivation is mostly located in the northeast and the Midwest, as those areas are warmer and, as I said, relatively free from seasonal change. The lime is a special product, not obviously an import product. The product has very specific characteristics that require years of experience and monitoring to ensure consistent quality.”
"We're currently working with one specific producer,” Joey continues. “This year we partnered up with a new production company. The limes of this producer are of very high quality and unlike the usual Brazilian limes, these are dark green." Part of the limes remain in the country, but most are destined for overseas venues. There they find their way to supermarkets and wholesalers.
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