With the arrival of autumn, complaints start arriving at Mercadona's fresh produce section. This week, the Valencian supermarket chain received a wave of criticism on social media for selling foreign oranges in its stores across Spain. The response of the chain: "It is a temporary solution."
In a media statement, the chain chaired by Juan Roig explained to customers that oranges are only imported “from September until the end of November, approximately.” The reason, the company reports, is that the national production volume has already been exhausted, "and there is no local production in Spain during those months."
According to another user, the oranges currently in supermarkets come from South Africa. "The origin is in small print, while the name of the variety (Valencia-Late) is very large, which makes things confusing," he says.
Given the criticism, Mercadona has been defending itself with figures. "For years, more than 90% of the total oranges we sell are of domestic origin." In fact, the supermarket firm is going to buy more than 210,000 tons of oranges from more than 2,000 producers from around the country.
At the end of November, Mercadona says it will have Spanish oranges on the shelves again. The retailer sells them in different formats: in bulk, in meshes of three and six kilos, and through the freshly squeezed orange juice service.
As explained by the company, the season kicks off with Navelina oranges, and as the weeks go by, the range is expanded with the Navel / Navelate, Lane-Late, Lane-Late Powell and Valencia-Late. The taste also changes, and while in the first months the fruit has a touch of sourness, its sweetness increases as the campaign develops.