Good weather conditions have brought forward the start of New Zealand mandarin season according to leading grower T&G Fresh.
T&G Fresh started harvesting the fruit at the start of April and is expecting between 12m-14m mandarins to be sold in New Zealand retail outlets throughout the season.
Tom Chamberlain, T&G’s regional manager in Northland, said thanks to the long, sunny days over the past few months and some rainfall in early January, the fruit had grown to a great size and sweet taste earlier than expected.
“Sun is extremely important for the satsuma trees, as they need between 8-10 hours of sunlight a day to thrive. We were lucky to have a great summer and some rain which has resulted in a deliciously juicy and sweet tasting fruit this season,” Chamberlain said.
“Our consumers love the fruit as it’s seedless and their loose skin makes it easy to peel. Mandarins are also renowned over the winter months for their high Vitamin C content.
“Last year T&G Fresh had very strong sales across our mandarins, navel oranges and lemons as consumers gravitated towards citrus products as a natural way to boost their health levels.”
T&G Fresh will also export some of its satsuma mandarin crop to Japan, where it has also gained popularity for its health benefits.