USDA eases minimum grapefruit sizes
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the adoption of an interim rule change that will relax the minimum size requirements of grapefruit. The new ruling, which came into force on April 24th, prescribes that minimum sizes of imported and domestically produced grapefruit will change from 3 5⁄16 inches to 3 inches in diameter. This reduction in size requirement is a response to increased market demand for small-sized grapefruit and an effort to support smaller producers, particularly those dealing with the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Irma by reducing fruit loss. This ruling will affect approximately 500 Florida citrus producers and around 50 citrus importers. Most grapefruit imported to the US comes from South Africa, Peru and Mexico, with 24,000 tons arriving in 2016.