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Leafy tangerines becoming more popular

“Because of drought and heat, sizes will mostly be small this year,” says Tom Leenheer from Van Ooijen Citrus about the Spanish citrus season. As always, the importer will start with Spanish citrus, and mid-November, Moroccan citrus will be added. This is becoming an increasingly important product for Van Ooijen.

“We traditionally focus on the domestic market,” Leenheer continues. “Additionally, we export our products throughout Europe. Our main export countries are Scandinavia, the UK and Germany.” Losing the Russian market because of the boycott is still felt. “Many products no longer sell, or sell less. For example, large-sized oranges, which we used to sell to the Eastern bloc in large volumes.”

Large sizes and late strains
“The dry weather affected all of Spain, meaning the differences between the regions are insignificant. Especially colouring has been affected by the weather. The fruit stayed fairly pale, because temperatures remained high during the nights.”

“We have plenty of fruit available, but selecting only the best fruit is always quite a task,” Leenheer continues. The Spanish cultivators have also increasingly committed to late strains, such as Nadorcott, Tango and Orri. “These are becoming more and more popular, while earlier strains, such as Okitsu and Satsuma, are arousing less and less interest.”

Leafy tangerines and Morocco
Traditionally, the citrus expert from Ridderkerk, the Netherlands, focuses on the import of leafy tangerines and oranges during the Spanish season. “We have permanent suppliers in Spain, and we offer our products to a broad audience consisting of market traders, wholesalers, and retail.”

Van Ooijen Citrus consciously chooses to start with Spanish citrus, in order to let Moroccan citrus reach its full flavour potential before starting the Moroccan citrus season. “There is always competition between Spain and Morocco, but true enthusiasts always appreciate the Spanish flavour,” Leenheer concludes. 

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