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Organic grower anticipates robust California citrus season

Fruit World, a family-owned, flavor-focused grower-shipper of organic and conventional fruit, expects a robust citrus season, particularly for this year’s organic lemon crop. Promotable volumes of organic lemons from California’s desert region are anticipated through early March. Fruit World will also offer a diverse citrus program throughout the season, including organic and conventional mandarins, organic oranges and organic specialty citrus such as sweet limes and Minneola tangelos.

"This year’s organic lemon crop is looking very strong—both in terms of volume and quality—and we’re seeing exceptional taste, appearance and juiciness," said Bianca Kaprielian, Fruit World co-founder and CEO. "This year’s desert volume makes for great ad opportunities through March, with our Central Valley ranches filling out availability through May."

Left: Rio Red grapefruit; right: organic sweet limes.

Fruit World also expects a strong organic specialty citrus program this year. "This is our second year offering organic sweet limes and we are already delivering promotable volumes which should last into December," Kaprielian added.

Fruit World’s flagship mandarin program kicks off in early November, starting with stem & leaf Satsumas and its proprietary Early Dulce mandarin variety. Organic satsumas and clementines start in November, with additional varieties available into April.

A lighter than typical season is expected for mandarins this year, a concern seen industry-wide due to excessive heat in May and June paired with last year’s large crop set affecting this year’s bloom. "To establish high flavor and exceptional color right from the start of the season, we plan to start shipping mandarins and navels about two weeks later than usual and have a slightly earlier end to the season," said CJ Buxman, co-founder of Fruit World and organic citrus grower. "This shift also allows us to ensure uninterrupted supply of high-quality fruit throughout the season."

Left: organic lemons; right: organic mandarins.

The company has already started shipping the popular organic Rio Red grapefruit variety. "Our California-grown Rio Reds are top-notch quality and have beautiful interior color. We’ve seen strong demand, partly due to last season’s freeze in Mexico and Texas which affected the overall grapefruit supply," said Buxman.

Navel oranges will start shipping at the end of October, followed by Minneola tangelos in early December, with the season rounding out with Cara Caras and blood oranges starting in January.

As it plans for the future, Fruit World is expanding its specialty citrus program by planting organic mandarinquats, kumquats, lemonade lemons and more that will be available in upcoming seasons. The company also has a significant amount of mandarin and navel acreage in transition from conventional to organic, including heirloom navels in their second year of transition, so coming years should see increased organic volume.

For more information:
Bianca Kaprielian
Fruit World
Tel: +1 (559) 650-0334 x2 

CJ Buxman
Fruit World
Tel: +1 (559) 650-0334 x1 

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