Israel targets China citrus market

16 Mar 2017

Following what it says is the substantial harvest growth of Jaffa Orri, Israel’s Plant Production and Marketing Board identified the China market as the next target to grow its exports in 2017.

Israel targets China citrus market

Following what it says is the substantial harvest growth of Jaffa Orri, Israel’s Plant Production and Marketing Board identified the China market as the next target to grow its exports in 2017.

China is the number one grower of citrus worldwide with 20 million tons in 2016, the board said, while it also imported 21,000 tons of mandarins in the 2015/16 season - an increase of 10% over the previous year.

“We expect to dramatically increase sales volumes of delicious Jaffa Orri in China market in 2017,” said Tal Amit, head of the citrus sector at Israel’s Plant Production and Marketing Board. “The Chinese are fond of fresh produce and seeking for premium mandarins and are willing to pay for its delicious taste.”

According to PMA, China is the world’s largest e-commerce market and is rapidly growing. One of the main drivers of this exponential growth was sales of online fresh fruit; online purchase of fresh produce is quickly becoming a preferred purchase channel for Chinese consumers, especially among young professionals in Tier I cities. Sales of online fresh produce were nearly $4 billion in 2014, with industry forecasts predicting a market size of $16 billion and, total fresh produce market segment of 15% by 2018.

“Jaffa Orri mandarin is well established in Western Europe, especially in France and Germany,” said Amit. ”The growing demand for mandarins in China encourage us to conduct a market research in China and Japan to learn about Jaffa Orri potential in these markets, including e-commerce outlets . We hope to receive the consumer research results in April 2017.”

The Jaffa Orri is a mandarin developed by scientists of the Israeli Volcani Research Center. This easy to peel mandarin is said to feature an excellent, fresh, sweet flavour while having minimal seed content and a particularly long shelf life shelf life.

“As a result, Jaffa Orri aims to minimize fresh produce waste and can yield better profit,” said Amit.

This variety is also said to have an extremely long harvest season of four months, which far exceeds the typical harvest season of around two months for most mandarins.

USDA estimated China’s production forecast of mandarin and tangerine to drop 900,000 tons due to citrus greening and unfavourable weather; consequently, consumption and exports are down. China represents over two-thirds of global production and consumption and one-fourth of global exports.

“This can be a great opportunity for Jaffa Orri, especially, since we successfully increased production in 2017, along with extending the shelf life,” said Amit.

The Plant Production & Marketing Board was established in 2004 to assist farmers in advancing their agricultural missions. The board promotes the Jaffa brand and other registered citrus industry brands. It helps kick-start pioneering R&D projects, executes centralized crop protection initiatives, assists organizations in meeting phytosanitary standards and insures growers against weather-related losses.