Spain’s Protected Vegetable Varieties Club (CVVP) has a new star in its premium citrus range. The company held a special event in Valencia in October to officially launch the m7 Navel, which joins a line-up that includes Nadorcott and Leanri mandarins and the extra-late Summer Primlemon.
Marketed as the world’s earliest maturing Navel orange, m7 ripens around three to four weeks earlier than a Navel orange – from mid-October in Spain’s case – and has a high degree of uniformity in both colour and shape and an extensive harvesting period stretching over four months.
Throughout the season, CVVP ran a promotional campaign featuring Hollywood-style movie trailers aimed at buyers and retailers and in-store tastings in supermarkets and greengrocers to highlight the orange’s unique characteristics.
The variety has already generated strong interest from growers, packers and marketers worldwide thanks to the response it is garnering from consumers. Its developers claim that thanks to its exceptional quality it encourages repeat purchases from an early stage in the season, thereby helping to maximise returns.
The m7 discovered in 2004 by Australian grower Greg Chislett and has since been rolled out in Australia, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand, the US and Spain – the only European country to hold a license for its production.
In order to maintain its exclusivity, planted area is strictly limited. In Spain, for example, where the license is owned by GCM, a group made up of three producers (Giner, Cañamás and Martinavarro), there are just 2,000ha of production. Output for the current season is expected to reach 4,000 tonnes but this will increase sharply as trees mature.
Meanwhile, CVVP’s 2017 promotional campaign for Clemcott, its premium Nadorcott selection, is well underway. Under the slogan “Good things come to those who wait”, the variety is available from January until April, making it the last mandarin on Spain’s production calendar.
“Once again, the campaign is being aimed at purchasing managers, experts who know the guaranteed qualities of the Clemcott brand and who are in charge of getting this fruit to the end consumer,” CVVP says.
The Clemcott label is used for the best of the Nadorcott selection, hand picked for their balanced levels of sugar and acidity, high juice content, intense orange colour and easy peeling. In order to maintain these quality standards the club carries out annual inspections in all certified plantations, as well unannounced audits at warehouses to ensure that quality criteria are properly met.