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Mandarins outperform oranges for value in US


It used to be oranges, but these days mandarins are driving growth in the value of the citrus category in the United States as consumers continue their love affair with this more compact, often seedless, and easy to peel fruit.

Though just 9.9% of the citrus volume sold, mandarins represented 36.4% of dollar sales in the US retail market for the 52 weeks to September 26, 2015, according to Nielsen data. In comparison, oranges, which form 30% of the category volume, represented a lesser share – 29.2% – of the overall spend.

Relative to the 52 weeks to September 27, 2014, the citrus category grew 8.9% in sales value (to $2.8 billion) and 8.2% in retail sales volume (to 2.2 billion eaches/units of fruit sold). Again, mandarins, with sales of $1 billion, contributed to that growth with a 22% jump in spend, outperforming oranges, which slipped 0.3% in value, to $801.4 million. There was growth of 20.3% in the number of mandarins sold, to 219.1 million, while for oranges it was a more modest rise of 5.6%, though to 666.8 million).

The only other citrus types to log much growth in retail spend apart from mandarins were lemons (+13.5%) and, to a lesser extent, grapefruit (+0.5%), and, in volume, lemons with 5.2%. Limes also grew in volume sales, by 12.4%, overtaking oranges to reach a total sold of 667.4 million, but in value dropped 2.8% to $261 million.


Both tangerines and specialty fruits took a tumble in value and volume, of the order of 7.3% and 8.9% relatively for tangerines and over 15% in both cases for specialty fruits.

Source of all data: Nielsen
‘Citrus fruits’ image by Scott Bauer, USDA. Image released by the Agricultural Research Service. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

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CVVP claims research shows Tango essentially derived from Nadorcott


The Club de Variedades Vegetales Protegidas (Protected Vegetal Varieties Club – CVVP) claims new research shows the ‘Tang Gold’ variety (also known as ‘Tango’) is essentially derived from the ‘Nadorcott’ mandarin.

In a press release, the Valencia-based club said this is the thesis supported in a report by the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMCP), a centre it said is funded by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

The CVVP said the institute had used new, highly precise technology – the massive sequencing technique – to compare the genomes of the ‘Tang Gold’ and ‘Nadorcott’.

“It can be concluded from the results of the mentioned study that ‘Tang Gold’ and ‘Nadorcot’ are identical in 99.9999997% of the varied positions analysed,” it said.

According to the CVVP, this means there are no significant differences between the genomes ‘Tang Gold’ and ‘Nadorcot’.

“The conclusions of this scientific report corroborate the theory supported by the Club de Variedades Vegetales in that “‘Tang Gold’ is a variety without enough differences with ‘Nadorcott’ or, it essentially derives from ‘Nadorcott’.

“This is the reason why this institution states that ‘it will take the necessary steps to defend its members’ rights against those infringing the legal protection the ‘Nadorcott’ variety has,’” the CVVP said in its press release.

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Russian embargo hitting Croatian mandarin growers hard


European Commission says additional targeted support measures cover mandarins


About half of all mandarin exports from Croatia’s Neretva Valley ended up in Russia, last year. This year a record harvest of 80,000 tons is expected but many growers risk going bust due to the combined effects of the Russian embargo and an already difficult economic context, according to Croatian member of the European Parliament Davor Ivo Stier (PPE).

Stier said it will be hard for them to find alternative markets in a short period. The total value of the mandarin market in Croatia is roughly €50 million and an estimated 10,000 people there depend on mandarins as a main or additional source of income.

“A large amount of money has been invested up to this point in production materials,” Stier said. “As a result of these investments and of people’s hard work, this year it was anticipated that revenues for the sector would amount to €30‐40 million. However, Russia’s embargo, coupled with an already‐difficult economic situation, could result in many mandarin producers collapsing.”

In answer to Stier’s questions about the mandarin growers’ eligibility for exceptional support from the EU agricultural crisis fund for the effects of the Russian sanctions, Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş said on behalf of the Commission that there is now support for mandarin growers.

Support for citrus producers was not included in its initial exceptional market support measures. “However, the Commission has prepared additional targeted support measures for fruit and vegetables hit by the Russian ban taking into account new harvest and export seasons. The new measures include mandarins and (were) published on 30 September,” Cioloş said.