Producer Vicente Quirante outlines his reasons for opting to plant the new Clementine/Murcott hybrid
Vicente, how long have you been cultivating the Leanri variety?
Vicente Quirante: I have been growing citrus for more than 40 years – I’ve dedicated my whole life to this sector. I have been producing Leanri for the past two years, but I’ve been tracking and analysing the variety for the last five. My farm is located in Orihuela, in the province of Alicante. Anyone who wants to know more about the variety is welcome to come and visit at any time!
What do you consider to be the main benefits of the Leanri variety compared to other mandarins?
VQ: Its greatest advantage is its profitability. Leanri is a mandarin that has proven to have a lot of vigour and this translates into the best commercial sizes – and all of this is achieved with very little expenditure on inputs.
If we compare its characteristics with other varieties, the difference is huge. Not only because of its colour, but because of all the biological and organoleptic qualities of the variety.
As for storage, it is simply extraordinary, I don’t know of any variety that has such a long shelf-life, in this case up to four months. From its handling to its export, the Leanri mandarin is capable of reaching every part of the world in perfect condition.
Does the fact that it’s a protected variety make it more profitable than other varieties?
VQ: For sure. The fact that it’s a club variety has favoured its commercial development. Being part of a well-organised union is what will allow us to consolidate the value of the variety in the market in the long term. And because Leanri farmers talk every day and share knowledge across the entire group we are continually learning and specialising in how best to grow the variety.
Are there specific practices you have implemented to maximise the yield and quality of Leanri mandarins in your farms?
VQ: Most definitely, and, thanks to the communication between farmers, all these techniques and tasks are shared between them. In my case, during the fruit setting season, I have always promoted the use of gibberellic acid and the subsequent girdling of the branches. I consider this to be the most effective way of ensuring excellent fruit set.
How do you value the importance of the Leanri mandarin being a protected variety, and managed by the Company of Protected Plant Varieties (CVVP) in terms of safety and control in its cultivation?
VQ: Growers who opt for Leanri are making an investment that must be supported and controlled in order to maintain its profitability and reliability. To achieve this, it is necessary for the club to continue maintaining its field visits, controlling plantations and product labelling, and analysing the evolution of the variety. As a farmer, I am assured that my investment is safe thanks to the professionalism and help of the club.
How has Leanri been received by consumers and customers?
VQ: Consumers are surprised when trying the variety. Its shape, size, flavour and aroma make eating it an entire experience. From the easy peeling to the crunchy texture of each of its segments. As I mentioned before, the organoleptic qualities of Leanri are exceptional.