"Favorable late Spring weather and more groves reaching maturity have contributed to a heavy set of great-looking fruit as we approach the 2022 Satsuma season," said Kim Jones, owner of Florida Georgia Citrus and current president of Cold Hardy Citrus Association. "The trees are heavy with beautiful, uniform fruit. We anticipate a record Satsuma crop for 2022."
The Sweet Valley Citrus region spans a tri-state zone throughout North Florida, South Alabama and South Georgia. These growing areas share unique soil and weather that make Sweet Valley Citrus so special. Grown on local family farms, tree-ripened and shipped daily from farmer-owned packing facilities, the citrus includes Satsumas marketed under grower brands such as Southern Sassies, Southern Juicys and Cherokee Jewel.
Satsuma production has increased in the region from less than 1,000,000 pounds produced by 15 growers in 2014 to 12,000,000 pounds and more than 150+ growers in 2021. Production is anticipated to continue increasing over the upcoming years due to new plantings already in the ground that should push production to over 100,000,000 pounds by 2027.
With Southeast locations along major interstate highways, Sweet Valley Citrus growers and packing houses have been less affected by supply chain issues. Compared to West Coast and imported citrus, reduced shipping time can extend shelf life from a few days to several weeks.
Citrus from the Sweet Valley region is especially flavorful, with excellent Brix and Brix/acid ratio scores. "Easy-to-peel Satsumas are a special fruit with a delicious flavor profile and limited season," said Mack Glass of Cherokee Satsumas. "We’ll begin shipping in early November, with full production available from mid-November to mid-January."
Citrus from the region is flavorful with excellent Brix and Brix/acid ratio scores.
Sweet Valley Citrus has also recently launched a new website. "The website helps expand the allure of Sweet Valley Citrus, especially Satsumas," said Karen Nardozza, president and CEO of Moxxy, the marketing agency that created the Sweet Valley brand, website and other marketing materials to promote the region.
The website also helps retail and foodservice buyers connect with growers and packers and provides detailed information on seasonality, varieties, nutrition, selection and storage.
"It’s important to support sales and consumption with consumer education and inspiration to maximize the success of the fruit in all channels," said Nardozza.
In addition to Satsuma mandarins, Sweet Valley Citrus is also known for its Shiranui mandarins, Cara Cara navel oranges, grapefruit, Kishu mandarins, Tango tangerines and lemons.