Following the substantial harvest growth of Jaffa Orri, Israel’s Plant Production and Marketing Board has announced that it has identified the Chinese market as the next target to grow its export in 2017.
China is the number one grower of citrus worldwide with 20m tonnes produced in 2016, while it also imported 21,000 tonnes of mandarin during the 2015/16 season – an increase of 10 per cent 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. "Chinese are fond of fresh produce and seeking premium mandarins and are willing to pay for its delicious taste.”
According to the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), China is the world’s largest e-commerce market and is rapidly growing. One of the main drivers of this exponential growth is sales of online fresh fruit; online purchasing of fresh produce is quickly becoming a preferred purchase channel for consumers, especially among young professionals in Tier I cities.
Sales of online fresh produce amounted to nearly US$4bn in 2014, with industry forecasts predicting a market size of US$16bn and total fresh produce market segment growth of 15 per cent by 2018.
“Jaffa Orri mandarin is well established in Western Europe, especially in France and Germany,” explained Amit. ”The growing demand for mandarin in China encourage us to conduct market research in China and Japan to learn about Jaffa Orri's potential in these markets, including e-commerce outlets. We hope to receive the consumer research results in April 2017.”
Jaffa Orri is a mandarin developed by scientists of the Israeli Volcani Research Center. This easy to peel mandarin boosts a fresh, sweet flavour with minimal seed content and a particularly long shelf life. “As a result, Jaffa Orri aims to minimise fresh produce waste and can yield better profit,” noted Amit.
The variety also has an extremely long harvest season of four months, which far exceeds the typical harvest season of around two months for most mandarins.
USDA estimated that China’s production forecast of mandarins and tangerines would drop 900,000 tonnes 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 shelf life,” noted Amit.