The summer citrus program in the United States is kicking off now, and for Bee Sweet Citrus this means working with a combination of domestically grown and imported products. Monique Bienvenue shares: “Bee Sweet’s Star Ruby Grapefruit, lemons, Sanguinelli Blood Oranges and Valencia oranges are grown domestically, while our mandarins and Navel oranges are imported from Chile.”
Mandarins and Navel oranges from Chile.
Steady domestic season
This year’s domestic season saw steady volumes and good demand, according to Bee Sweet Citrus Sales Representative Jason Sadoian. “The volumes this year were about the same as they were last year,” he says. “With regard to the demand, it’s usually steady and this is what we were seeing again this season before the pandemic. Then when the pandemic hit, this definitely brought about a bigger demand for immunity boosting foods.”
For the domestically grown citrus, the pandemic brought some specific challenges with it. Sadoian explains: “Our pack time and labor were challenged by the pandemic. This was mostly because we worked to institute strict protocols to ensure safety throughout the packing-house.”
Star Ruby Grapefruit.
Positive outlook for import season
Bee Sweet Citrus imports their mandarins and navel oranges from Chile, and the season started on time this year. “Both the projected volumes and quality for the imported citrus are looking very good so far. The weather could be better in Chile, because they have been dealing with a drought, so more rainfall would be great. However, we are not anticipating any specific challenges for the season so far,” says Sadoian.
Combination of offshore and domestic product allows year-round supply
"While all of the varieties included in Bee Sweet's summer program are nutritious, each variety has its own set of unique characteristics," stated Bee Sweet Citrus Director of Communications Monique Bienvenue. "The versatility of our summer line can meet the needs of any niche market, while also providing consumers with the added nutrition they look for in produce commodities. As consumers continue to seek out citrus fruits for their families, year-round availability is imperative to meet industry demand for product,” Bienvenue says.
Sadoian shares: “This year we’ve seen that bag business has exploded; we’re seeing a huge demand for them.” Bienvenue adds, concluding: “All of Bee Sweet’s varieties are available in an assortment of packaging styles and meet the highest standards in quality and safety.”