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AU: Finger lime competition needed to ensure sustainable future

Finger limes are a unique product native to Australia. Limeburst is, however, the country's only commercial scale finger lime cultivation operation.

The fruit, which has been described as the caviar of the citrus world is harvested from January through until May, though, unusually for citrus, it can be frozen and thus, is available all year round.

James Boyd, of Limeburst, says that demand for the unusual fruit is on the rise.

"Each year there is an exponential increase in demand with the product moving into mainstream markets."

Currently Australia finger limes are marketed mainly on the European markets, but new opportunities are also emerging. Despite the ever increasing popularity of the fruit, however, it is not widely stocked by even the top end retailers, as James explains.

"It sells to high end restaurants, cocktail bars and providors. It's expanding now into bakeries and other processing industries."

Despite the increasing popularity of finger limes, James says that overall scarcity of the product means that Limeburst are not concerned about the possible emergence of competitors.

"Competition is to be welcomed," he says. "It's the only way to fulfil demand and also to ensure the development of a sustainable industry for the future."

Certainly more volumes will be needed if the fruit's growing demand is to be met. It is estimated that the current annual out put for Australian grown finger limes is only between 4 and 6 tons. Even this is not assured, as James points out.

"The crop is variable depending on the climate. Over the last two years it has been extremely wet and attendant crop losses have occurred."

Limeburst fingerlimes are distributed throughout Europe by Natures Pride.

For more information:
Tel: +61 2 6689 7444

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