The orange may be the the fruit most widely associated with Israel, but it is China that is the number one grower of citrus worldwide, with 20 million tons in 2016. Despite this, China also imported 21,000 tons of mandarin oranges in the last year, many from Israel.
Following the substantial harvest growth of Israel’s easy-to-peel mandarin orange known as the Jaffa Orri, Israel’s Plant Production and Marketing Board identified the China market as the its target for export growth in 2017.
“We expect to dramatically increase sales volumes of delicious Jaffa Orri in the China market in 2017,” Tal Amit, head of the citrus sector at Israel’s Plant Production and Marketing Board, said in a statement. “The Chinese are fond of fresh produce. They seek premium mandarins and are willing to pay for its delicious taste.”
Chinese like purchasing fruit online
According to the PMA (Produce Marketing Association), China is the world’s largest e-commerce market and is growing rapidly. One of the main drivers of this exponential growth was sales of online fresh fruit, which is quickly becoming a preferred purchase channel for Chinese consumers, especially among young professionals in big cities. Sales of online fresh produce in Chins neared the $4 billion in 2014.
The Jaffa Orri mandarin is well established in Western Europe, especially in France and Germany, but the growing demand for Israel’s mandarin in China has encouraged the PMA to focus its attention on the giant Asian country.
The Jaffa Orri: Easy to peel, few seeds, long self life
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The Jaffa Orri is a mandarin orange developed by scientists of the Israeli Volcani Research Center. In addition to being grown in Israel, the Jaffa Orri is grown in some of the best-
This variety of fruit also has an extremely long harvest season of four months, which far exceeds the typical harvest season of around two months for most mandarins.
A growing segment of the Chinese population has become more concerned with food safety standards and regulations, according to the PMA. “Our Jaffa Orri brand is well known as a safe, delicious fruit and it is payoff in comparison to other mandarins in the market,” Amit says.
China’s struggles spell opportunity for Jaffa Orri
The USDA estimated China’s production forecast of mandarins and tangerines to drop 900,000 tons due to citrus greening and unfavorable weather; consequently, consumption and exports are down. China represents over two-thirds of global production and consumption and one-fourth of global exports.
Pictures: Jaffa Orri