AUSTRALIAN grown mandarins will return to supermarket shelves as usual when the season commences in April, with fruit volume, quality and price not expected to be affected by Queensland’s devastating floods.
CEO of Citrus Australia, Judith Damiani, said the majority of Australian mandarins were grown in flood ravaged central Queensland, however most growers had escaped major crop damage and had good quality fruit remaining.
“About three quarters of Queensland’s commercial mandarin crop is grown in the Gayndah, Mundubbera and Emerald regions which were seriously impacted by the floods, however few crops in the region suffered the major impacts we feared,” Ms Damiani said.
“Whilst there has unfortunately been widespread damage to several orchards, most have large quantities of good quality mandarins still available, which is excellent news for growers and consumers.
“We wish everyone affected a speedy recovery,” she said.
Owner of Glen Grove Orchard at Gayndah, Greg Parr, said approximately 6000 of his orchard’s 65,000 mandarin trees went underwater, with 1500 of these trees severely damaged, however the impact of the fruit losses would be minimal.
“Many growers in the region including us have been experiencing an ‘up year,’ so production wise there will be ample mandarins to meet demand, so consumers need not worry about supply,” Mr Parr said.
“I have spoken to a number of growers in the region and several had sections of their crops damaged, so our focus now will be repairing our infrastructure to protect the mandarins that remain.”
Co-owner of Abbotsleigh Citrus, Michael McMahon, is one of the growers most affected by the floods, with 20 per cent of his Wallaville farm inundated, however will still have plenty of fruit to go to market.
“Our orchard has approximately 50,000 trees in total, so despite the losses suffered the volume we will be delivering to market will be similar to that of the 2010 season,” Mr McMahon said.
“We are confident of being able to harvest most of the fruit that was flooded. However a small number of our trees may take a few seasons to fully recover, and there is also uncertainty regarding the quality of the fruit these trees will produce, so it is likely the effects of these floods will be felt for some time.
“Luckily for most growers however it will be business as usual, and we would like to assure consumers that the quality of the mandarins they will see on the shelves will be of the same high standard that they expect of Aussie growers.”
The Aussie mandarin season runs from April through to October.
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