The production and marketing of Australian grown Finger Limes is steadily increasing as this sector of the Australian native food industry tries to fulfil the very strong demand for this highly sought after citrus crop.
Finger Limes (Microcitrus australasica) are native to the rainforests of the border ranges of Northern NSW and South East Queensland, with the majority of commercial Australian production concentrated in this region.
Finger Limes are reported to have a high Vitamin C content and also to be rich in folate, potassium and Vitamin E.
Chefs around the world love the unique citrus flavours, astringency and bitterness combined with a lovely textural crunch. This flavour profile combines well with seafood, meats, salads, and desserts. Finger Limes also make a fantastic accompaniment to cocktails and are a popular garnish for any dish that is enhanced by a citrus flavour.
Many food experts refer to Finger Limes as citrus caviar or lime caviar given the similarity of the small fruit pulp to the famous seafood caviar delicacy.
A new production site has been established at Boorhaman in Victoria by Oz Finger Limes . Oz Finger Limes established this plantation in 2014 and it now has over 4000 trees planted across fifteen varieties. The expected harvest period will span mid-January until late May.
Oz Finger Limes has plans to expand this farm to over 15000 trees in the coming years.
All of the Finger Limes grown on this farm are grafted and the main varieties include Pink Ice, Red Champagne, Alstonville, Tasty Green and Green Crystal. There are smaller plantings of other varieties including Rick’s Red, Byron Sunrise, Crimson Tide and Collette.
Oz Finger Limes has engaged Adrian Parsons of 160 Acres Group to market this Finger Lime crop across local, export, fresh and processed food channels.
“…there were many sceptics who said Finger Limes couldn’t be grown in southern Australia due to the colder temperatures. However we have dispelled this myth with specialised planting and fertiliser methods and we now expect our first commercial harvest in January 2019…” said Parsons
Parsons continued… “Once the frosts commence in late autumn and early winter, our Finger Lime fruit drops which can shorten our season by 4-6 weeks compared to production sites in northern New South Wales and South East Queensland…”
“…I am very excited to assist Oz Finger Limes to carve out a niche for this fantastic native citrus crop where a strong demand exists across both high end restaurants and retail outlets...”
Parsons continued… “I am keen to make contact with interested distributors in both Australia and overseas as we launch our first commercial crop in early 2019.”
The location of this Finger Lime crop in north eastern Victoria will ensure fresher fruit is supplied to key markets in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.
To encapsulate the exciting flavour profile of Finger Limes, 160 Acres Group has developed the Zings Finger Lime brand for retail distribution. The Zings Finger Lime brand will help lift consumer awareness where the fruit currently has a relatively low profile.
Zings Finger Lime marketing programme will include attractive packaging and point of sale materials on its 125 gram, 1kg and 5kg packs. In addition, a consumer focused website and social media platform is being developed to help educate both chefs and the home cook on how to handle, store and use this amazing and exciting native Australian fruit.
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