US (FL): Early start, smaller sizes for tangerines

The tangerine harvest got underway a little early this year, and with a heavier crop than usual, sizes have been smaller than in normal years. But despite the smaller sizes, quality of fruit has not been affected and coloring has been good.

“We're running smaller sizes than we did last year,” said Sam Jones, senior manager in charge of domestic citrus operations in Florida for Duda Farm Fresh Foods. “That was mostly due to weather conditions while the crop was maturing on the tree.” He also cited the size of the crop as a factor in the size of fruit, as heavier crops, like this year's, tend to produce smaller-sized fruit.

Quality of fruit has been good, with cooler weather providing excellent conditions for fruit to acquire attractive coloring. Flavor has also been good, according to Jones, and that's helped keep consumers happy who have contributed to robust demand.

“Demand has been good, and customer acceptance of our Dandy brand has been favorable,” said Jones. “We've had a good market with steady flow of product to market.” That consistent supply was helped this year as the transition from the first season variety of tangerines, the Fallglo, transitioned smoothly to the second, and current variety in season, the Sunburst.

“We had an earlier crop for the start of the season – it was one to two weeks earlier than last season,” said Jones. “But we didn't have any gaps in supplies between the first two varieties. It was as mooth transition.”

“We've been very pleased,” added Jones. “We've had very good demand from the beginning of the season, the fruit's been holding up well, our shipments are ahead of last year and we expect that pace to continue through the end of the season.”

For more information:
Sam Jones
Duda Farm Fresh Foods
+1 407 365 2010

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