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Egypt remains world’s top orange exporter

Australia’s orange exports are expected to reach a record of 230,000 tons in 2016/17.

Egypt’s orange exports reached 1.398 million tons up to October 14, according to data released by the country’s Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine. This places Egypt as the world’s top exporter of oranges for the second consecutive year. According to the report, The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation also played a role in opening new markets for Egypt’s agricultural products by tracking the cultivation and packaging processes to ensure they meet safety criteria. In addition, no products are allowed out of the country unless they are up to standard. Last season, Egypt exported 1.68 million tons of oranges, 70,000 tons of lemon, 35,000 tons of mandarin, and 15,000 tons of grapefruit, according to Finance Brokerage.

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Citrusvil seeks to consolidate traditional and emerging markets

Citrusvil seeks to consolidate traditional and emerging markets
© Citrusvil 


Argentina exported around 242,000 tons of fresh lemon in 2020, a slight increase compared to 2019, although far from what was initially projected. According to Francisco Rotella, Citrusvil Fresh Fruit’s commercial manager, the season went through several stages, many of which were heavily affected by Covid-19.

The pandemic prompted consumers to turn to citrus fruits, including lemons for its high content of Vitamin C and its capacity to strengthen the immune system. The measures adopted to prevent the spread of the virus seriously impacted the crucial food service channel, especially in Europe and the United States. Moreover, Argentina decided to suspend lemon exports to Europe on July 1, 2020. This erratic scenario was reflected in the great price fluctuations, especially in Europe.

“At Citrusvil, we achieved exports of close to 27,000 tons. The 5,000 tons shipped to the United States market complied with the estimates made at the beginning of the campaign,” said Rotella. “This market is a destination on which Citrusvil will continue to focus in the coming seasons.”

Looking ahead to the next campaign, the company’s goal is to consolidate not only in traditional markets but also in so-called emerging markets, such as India and China, where Citrusvil is already working on commercial development. It will also seek to continue increasing its participation in other markets such as the Middle and Far East.

Positive balance of the pandemic

COVID-19 forced the Citrusvil organisation to adopt new protocols in its production processes in order to continue operating and guarantee the supply chain. To minimise the impacts, training of operational personnel was essential to ensure total adherence to prevention measures and protocols and the continuity of activity. This was achieved with a strong message to staff about the need to get the industry moving.

“This crisis has certainly generated a positive change in the culture of our company, where we have managed to adapt to the context, incorporating new health and safety protocols that have meant a great contribution to the industry in terms of food safety,” said Rotella. “All this will allow us to plan for the future and be prepared to overcome new risk situations as a reliable and sustainable supplier.

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Don Limón launches global recruitment drive for innovative business model

Don Limón launches global recruitment drive for innovative business model

                                                                                                                                                                                         Press release

The specialist fruit importer is seeking visionary partners or employees to establish and manage autonomous Don Limón sourcing and distribution offices worldwide.

HAMBURG, GERMANY – 24 SEPTEMBER 2020 – Don Limón – the international fresh fruit producer-packer-importer – is thrilled to announce the launch of a recruitment campaign to find creative and ambitious professionals who wish to become the next ‘Don’ traders working within the company’s innovative, global platform.

Don Limón is calling on dynamic individuals with the ambition to develop small, commercial fruit sourcing and distribution offices worldwide to join its culturally diverse team. Eager to build on its reputation for being an employee-first business, the company is searching for local produce industry experts or successful traders who thrive off the spirit of cooperation.

Andreas Schindler, the original ‘Don’, CEO and Co-Founder of Don Limón, shares the objective: “Our business model is to create business models, and we wish to evolve the Don Limón platform. We are looking for exciting new talent with whom we can build a relationship of trust and respect to establish more business units worldwide. We can provide a platform for financing, administration and risk management, plus we are able to pass on valuable knowledge and experience to our employees.”

Schindler expands: “The fruit business is a people business. We want to meet interesting, passionate, intelligent, and committed people with an entrepreneurial spirit from all areas of the produce industry who are intrigued by our business model, and can bring a different perspective to the table. Anyone who would like to partner with Don Limón, run their own office, or join our existing team, please call me to discuss! I would love to hear your ideas.”

Don Limón’s motto is to ‘Think Global, Act Local’. As such, the group operates multiple business units worldwide, each run by three to four professionals. Each unit independently manages specific products or regions, empowered by native speakers with local market knowledge and cultural appreciation. By having autonomous local offices, the business can react quickly to changing circumstances, and, ultimately, survive.

Schindler explains: “The more a company is able to think small, the more likely it will survive. Simply operating a traditional, stand-alone global company makes your business too fragile. To be successful, the management system must be decentralised, including the decision making, and reformed into a ‘bottom-up’ structure. The result is strong, small business units that have the commercial freedom to develop organically as they see fit.”

Schindler continues: “Business is like the climate; the system is always changing. It’s important to adopt new management strategies to strengthen your corporate ecosystem where employees can grow. Managing complexity and unpredicted shocks is crucial for success. After experiencing 20% growth year-on-year since 2007, I’m not afraid to admit that in 2018/19 we had a difficult year when our business retracted. We realised the vulnerabilities of our system, and took the opportunity to fine tune our set-up. I am delighted to reveal that our growth is now accelerating again as a result. Life is a learning curve!”

Don Limón is becoming more global every day. Slowly but surely, for the last 13 years Don Limón has begun to create a truly international sourcing and distribution platform. After launching as an international lime importer, the group realised the importance of diversification. Since then, Don Limón has become specialised in citrus, table grapes and sweet potatoes.

Already, Don Limón has established several independent sourcing and distribution offices worldwide. The first was opened in the USA during 2010, followed by Guatemala, India, and South Africa. The next unit will open in Egypt, and China is on the radar. Beyond that, Don Limón’s future geographical reach will depend on the new recruitment drive.

Schindler reveals: “Our next office could be in the UK, France, Poland, Lithuania or even Brazil – we are wide open to suggestions!”


Don Limón was established in 2007 by Andreas Schindler and his brother Thomas. The duo are the third generation of a fresh produce family, with their grandfather having established a mushroom business called Pilz Schindler, in Hamburg, Germany, in 1952. Today, Don Limón specialises in the production, packing and export of high quality limes, citrus, table grapes and sweet potatoes from across the world. The group also sources exotics, tropicals, and pomegranates.



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RSA citrus industry limits exports to EU

RSA citrus industry limits exports to EU


South Africa has decided to cease exports of specific types of citrus from certain regions in the country to the European Union early this season. The South African government has been asked not to inspect any more shipments of fruit from these regions after 12 September. An industry announcement stated: “At times in the past, the South African citrus industry has voluntarily suspended certain exports to limit potential interceptions of citrus black spot (CBS) symptomatic fruit at the tail end of the season and to protect the long term sustainability of the EU market. Experience has shown that the prevalence of CBS interceptions increases in this period, particularly on late Valencia oranges.”

According to the statement South Africa received 12 notifications of false codling moth (FCM) interceptions from the EU and has implemented stricter measures to mitigate the risk of additional FCM interceptions.

“Although there is only one CBS interception in the EU so far this season, there is a need to also mitigate the total number of interceptions,” the statement read.

The decision was taken by the Citrus Growers’ Association’s (CGA) disaster management committee. In a notice to citrus growers, the committee said the move is a proactive and diligent intervention to demonstrate the industry’s responsible and sustainable risk mitigation.

According to the statement the intervention will be enacted through automatic withdrawal of EU registration of affected orchards on the industry’s PhytClean system, which plays a key role in orchard inspections for fruit exported to the EU.

This will mean that the certification body, PPECB, will not inspect any citrus fruit of the affected types and production regions for shipment to Europe after midnight on 12 September.  

The statement stressed the CBS free areas of the Western and Northern Cape are exempt from the ruling, as well as the low risk Gamtoos and Katriver production regions in the Eastern Cape. Mandarins and other soft citrus are also exempted as a low risk citrus type.


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China welcomes first Chilean oranges

China welcomes first Chilean oranges © ASIA FRUIT LOGISITCA


The first Chilean oranges have entered China, where they were welcomed with a ceremony at Jiaxing Haiguangxing Market, which has close ties with the Chilean Export Association. Chile, the Southern Hemisphere’s second-largest orange producer, exports about 18 million tons between May and November each year. Chilean oranges and lemons have a great price-quality ratio in comparison with oranges and lemons from other countries and require no refrigeration. 

China imports huge volumes of oranges from the Southern Hemisphere, with imports from Egypt growing in recent years. The citrus import market is slowly improving following the setbacks experienced during the Covid pandemic. South African grapefruit is doing particularly well. 

The Jiaxing Haiguangxing Market has quickly developed into a trade centre for premium fruit in the last two years, with trade value increasing by 10.3% this year alone, and trade volume up by 13.1%. 

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Anecoop signs up to Pro-Enrich waste project for citrus waste

Anecoop signs up to Pro-Enrich waste project for citrus waste

Citrus production and consumption often involves a great deal of waste and environmental damage, but this may soon be a thing of the past! Spanish second-tier cooperative Anecoop has joined a European project Pro-Enrich to find new uses for citrus waste. The Pro-Enrich initiative aims to create a new business model for extracting high-value components from citrus residues, as well as from waste of tomatoes, olives and rapeseed. This will involve developing a flexible biorefinery process for citrus waste that will help fulfil the growing global demand for alternative sources of protein and phenolic product streams.

Anecoop is the largest generator of biomass residues from citrus and is joined in the project by another Spanish company, citrus refinery Natac Biotech. The project is funded by the Bio-Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) within the framework of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


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CGC calls on Madrid and Brussels to work to remove US tariffs

CGC calls on Madrid and Brussels to work to remove US tariffs


On July 24, Airbus announced that it was denouncing the aid that was declared illegal by the World Trade Organization (WTO). As confirmed shortly after by the European Commission (EC), the Governments of Spain, France and Germany then agreed with the European aeronautical manufacturer to modify the terms of the repayable credits granted to the firm, in order to reflect market conditions and try to settle the trade dispute with the US and with the company from that country, Boeing. 

The EU-US trade dispute relating to subsidies to US firm Airbus, led to retaliatory measures from the US against European agri-food products. Since October 2019, a 25% tariff has effectively kicked out Spanish citrus (mainly clementines) from the US market, as well as great damage to other Spanish products such as olive oil, wine and cheeses.

Despite the dispute being resolved, the tariffs are still in place, which is why Spain’s Citrus Management Committee (CGC) calls on the Spanish Government and the EC to act to accelerate the reopening and allow resumption of affected agri-food exports, including oranges from September. In a press release, the CGC argues that failure to act quickly will make it difficult for operators to organise the logistics necessary to negotiate new supply programmes to the US.

The EU is in favour of a negotiated solution. However, if there is no agreement, Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan has warned that “the EU will be ready to exercise its rights to impose sanctions.” Hogan was referring to the forthcoming ruling of the WTO, which must promptly determine whether the measures granted by the US to Boeing can be replicated in the EU. CGC president, Inmaculada Sanfeliu, said, “If Europe really wants to end this trade war, an agreement should now be closed. The agri-food sector in general and citrus fruits in particular are the major victims of Europe’s geopolitical decisions.”

Photo: MINCOTUR / Reyes Maroto & Phil Hogan

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FarmFresh Conservers are used in lime exports from Brazil to Eurasia

FarmFresh Conservers are used in lime exports from Brazil to Eurasia


Protected in EPS packaging manufactured by Termotécnica, fruits maintain freshness and nutritional quality, with lower logistics costs, during long transit times


Brazil, one of the world’s largest Tahiti lime producers, is also the fruit’s largest exporter to the European Union according to Abrafrutas (Brazilian Association of Exporting Producers of Fruits and Byproducts). Even though only 7% of production is destined for the international market – about 70 million tons –, lime exports in the last decade have doubled in the country. And in 2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic along with health professionals’ recommendation to increase consumption of FLV (Fruits, Legumes and Vegetables) to strengthen immunity, the worldwide demand for citrus fruits is growing.

Developing conserver solutions under the FarmFresh brand, working together with partner producers and traders, Termotécnica has contributed toward the increased participation of Brazilian fruit in foreign markets. Now in July, a large shipment of Tahiti limes has just been dispatched to supply the Eurasian market, packed in FarmFresh conservers.

Due to the long transit time, about one month between harvest in Brazil until consumer availability in these purchasing countries, the qualities of FarmFresh EPS conservers provide great advantages throughout the entire chain. With this packaging and preservation solution, fruits imported from Brazil can sustain the long transport journey, arriving in the most distant markets with greater freshness while maintaining their nutritional values. “Our post-harvest solutions not only value but are also a great asset for Brazilian fruit producers, since they ensure that fruits are packaged, transported, delivered and displayed to their customers in various countries with the same quality, freshness and care taken during the cultivation and harvest processes”, states Termotécnica’s Superintendent Diretor, Nivaldo Fernandes de Oliveira.

In this true race against time, from producer to consumer, Termotécnica’s post-harvest solutions extend the fruits’ shelf-life by up to 30%, maintaining their nutritional properties longer. Certified by tests in European laboratories (AgroTropical and HDG), these results confirm less food waste and losses, making the FarmFresh line sustainable and suitable for packaging fruits from harvest to consumers, lower impact and vibration forces while in transit as well as better retail display.

Patented technology and designs allow for high thermal insulation, ease in stacking and transport. This also translates into more days with healthier, fresher food on store shelves providing many advantages for the retailer. Also, regarding operational and logistics cost issues, the benefits of FarmFresh EPS conservers, against other materials, are proven. Compared to cardboard packaging, for example, EPS conservers are up to 60% lighter, reducing weight by approximately 30%, which also means savings on air freight.

With health safety at the top of consumer concerns worldwide, the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment requested the European Commission, in March, to recognize packaging as an essential component for maintaining the uninterrupted flow of product groups identified as critical, such as “health-related and perishable goods, notably foodstuffs”. Termotécnica defines FarmFresh line’s positioning as the ideal “travel companion” so that fruits, grown by Brazilian producers, arrive in perfect condition in demanding markets such as those of Europe and Asia. “We present the test results and quantify the gains according to each situation. With longer shelf-life and all the characteristics of logistical efficiency, such as reduced freight, we help customers increase competitiveness and, consequently, their sales volumes and market share worldwide”, affirms Nivaldo de Oliveira.

And with the WorldStar 2019 award, granted by the WPO (World Packaging Organization), one of the packaging market’s most important recognitions in the Food and Save Food categories, Termotécnica has established itself as a global reference in post-harvest solutions, making Brazilian fruits, legumes and vegetables gain a more prominent place in international markets while at the same time combating food waste.

About Termotécnica

With a 58 year history, Termotécnica is one of Latin America’s largest EPS processing companies and one of the most sustainable companies in Brazil, according to Exame Guide 2019. With an entrepreneurial spirit, it develops solutions from Packaging & Components, Conservation, Agribusiness, Cold Chain, Cargo Handling to Building Construction materials. Headquartered in Joinville (SC), South Brazil, it has production and recycling units in Manaus (AM), Petrolina (PE), Rio Claro (SP), São José dos Pinhais (PR) and Pirabeiraba (SC).

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EU citrus crop shrinks

EU citrus crop shrinks

The 2019/20 EU citrus crop is projected to fall, mainly due to unfavourable weather in Spain, according to FAS Madrid data. Fruit quality is estimated to be excellent. Consumption of citrus is predicted to rise in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as consumers look for sources of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system. The higher demand and lower supply pushed up prices in Spain during the first 16 weeks of 2020. EU imports of citrus are expected to grow slightly, mainly from Morocco and South Africa. The main export markets for EU citrus are Switzerland, Norway, and Canada, but exports to China and the Middle East have risen significantly in recent times. EU citrus exports are projected to continue growing in strategic markets. One dark spot is that US tariffs imposed to the WTO case against EU aircraft subsidies may impact EU citrus exports, primarily Spanish clementines and lemons. Spain´s citrus sector has held up well since the start of the pandemic and has continued to meet domestic and export demand.

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The rise and rise of South Africa’s soft citrus

The rise and rise of South Africa’s soft citrus © Eurofresh Distribution
© Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution


South Africa’s tangerine/mandarin crop is projected to rise by 12% in the 2019/20 campaign, continuing the sector’s strong growth of recent times. Total production is estimated to reach 421,000 tons, mainly due to an increase in production area, normal weather conditions, and improved winter rainfall received in the main production area of the Western Cape. Moreover, many plantings are now reaching maturity. COVID had a minimal impact on labour supply.

South Africa’s tangerine/mandarin exports are expected to be up 16% in 2019/20 to 344,000 tons, due to increased production and the strategy of prioritising export markets over domestic markets. It is likely that COVID-19 has also driven demand due to the assumed health benefits of Vitamin C. Indeed, demand has been strong in the export markets, with the UK leading the way (26% of the total), followed by the Netherlands (21%), Russia (8%) and the US (6%).  

Many new soft citrus orchards in South Africa are under netting to improve water efficiency, yields and the overall quality. In addition, there is an increasing trend to plant late varieties, which has shifted the peak harvest of soft citrus from the beginning of May to mid-May, continuing through to July.