Initially scheduled for December 15, the official launch date of the citrus season has been brought forward to December 5, a decision taken by the Agricultural Exports Council and justified by improved weather conditions.
Abdelkader Habony, Egyptian citrus grower and exporter, told FreshPlaza, "Over the last two weeks, weather conditions have improved significantly and contributed to a faster ripening of citrus fruit. The fruits have reached 95% color, 13% brix, and well-balanced sizes. Bringing forward the kick-off date reflects the fact that Egyptian production has reached the suitable level of quality, and all indicators are in the green."
Unlike last season, we have an abundance of large sizes, from 34, 48, 56, 64, 72. Small sizes from 88 to 125 are also available but in smaller quantities than last season. There are citrus fruits for every need and specification and in large volumes. This augurs well for a fine season without any of the challenges we encountered last season.
Bringing the campaign forward will not raise any logistical concerns, adds Habony. "The first harvests have already been made and the fruit is now in the packing houses. The first shipments of the season will leave Egypt tomorrow. This year, the number of packing houses has increased by almost 30%, and they are mobilized to ensure smooth operations. The Egyptian authorities are also mobilized to ensure smooth operations in the ports."
The hasty start to the campaign also reflects an existing need for citrus fruit, adds the exporter. "Beyond climatic reasons, we want to start the season to meet a need for citrus fruits existing all over the world. Egyptian production is anticipated in a context of declining quality and volumes in the global citrus market."
"The watchword for Egyptian exporters this season is quality," continues Habony."We are making every effort to deliver a product that meets the standards and specifications of the destination markets. The Agricultural Export Council and the government are alert to preserve the quality of exports and the image of Egyptian citrus. At Habony Group, we add our touch with long experience in producing and exporting dozens of varieties of citrus."