Cara Cara

An expanding varietal portfolio will help the Australia’s citrus industry to regain ground in the US market, according to Andrew Harty, market development manager of peak industry body Citrus Australia.

Harty believes there will be an influx in Australian navel shipments to the North American nation this season and with production volumes of new varieties such as the early season M7 and Cara Cara on the rise, he is confident there will be no shortage of demand.

“Australian navels are renowned throughout the world for their excellent colour, and their sweet flavour,” Harty said. “As each set of varieties matures through the season, we can supply oranges with a consistently high eating quality. Cara Cara has been planted by our growers and produces an excellent piece of fruit under Australian conditions. This beautiful red-fleshed navel is very popular in the US, not just for its stunning colour, but also for its smooth, mellow taste. Demand always exceeds supply with Caras, so buyers need to get in early with orders.”

The marketing structure for Australian navels in the US has also evolved over recent seasons, with a single-desk importer arrangement removed in 2013. “This structure served the industry well for many years changing market conditions meant that new options needed to be explored,” Harty explained. “There are now multiple exporters and importers, offering a greater diversity of marketing opportunities. This is another good reason for produce buyers and sellers in the US to take a fresh look at Australian oranges this season.”