Navel Invasion: Top Quality Citrus Arriving from Chile

Sweet, refreshing navel oranges from Chile are now arriving at U.S. food retailers just as the harvest season reaches its peak. Over 1,100 metric tons of top-quality navel oranges are arriving at U.S. supermarkets, with availability high and quality even higher.

According to the Chilean Citrus Committee, which represents 85% of the citrus imported to North America from Chile, navel oranges are ripe for promotion to American consumers. The CCC is offering an array of point-of-purchase materials, available online at www.chileanfreshfruit.com, along with publicity support to drive demand for these healthy, sweetly satisfying summertime refreshers.

To ensure that Chile’s citrus crop exported to the United States arrives at produce retailers at the peak of ripeness and flavor, the Chilean Citrus Committee has implemented an Orange Ripening Verification Program.

Chile’s Fruit Development Foundation, an independent body charged with certifying the ripeness of fruit destined for the North American market, recently began weekly inspection visits to packing plants of CCC members. Inspectors will verify that Chilean citrus has a minimum of 9.0° Brix, as well as favorable acidity levels to ensure that all citrus arrives at peak flavor.

“Chile’s agricultural practices and regulations are very stringent,” says Tom Tjerandsen, managing director for North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, based in Sonoma, California. “This new citrus verification program is just another example of Chile’s commitment to providing North Americans with the best and tastiest oranges and citrus.”

As Chile’s exports grow, so do retailer and buyer expectations.  Chile is a pioneer in food safety standards and exporters are committed to ensuring that all oranges destined for export to North America are of good quality, both internally and externally. Committee members have agreed to hold back fruit that fails to meet the ripening standards.

Chile is among the world’s leading suppliers of fresh citrus, with exports of oranges already 19% higher than last year this time and exports anticipated to rise by 10% this year to 69,000 metric tons.  To learn more about Fruits from Chile, visit www.chileanfreshfruit.com.  To order POP for this season’s navel oranges, select “Retailer Support” and look for the online POP order form.

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