The Delite mandarin has been produced commercially by Australian citrus farmer Nutrano for ten years; the start of the current harvest is barely two weeks away. According to Tania Chapman, Executive General Manager of Nutrano’s Farming Operations, “the fruit is looking wonderful.” The Delite is a premium mandarin, and our growers go above and above in terms of quality. They are required to be seedless, have a minimum of 12 Brix, and have the ideal size profile. The Delite is a seedless Afourer mandarin that Nutrano expects to supply 4 million kg of this season and is only available at Woolworths in Australia. “The Delite is grown in Western Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria. This year’s growing regions have received a lot of rain, but this brings with it an influx of health to the trees with good clean air.”
The Navel harvest has been going on since the beginning of May. It is a robust, vigorous crop, but the fruit is creased because the albedo layer (pith) is deficient in vitamin D. “This is not an illness and has no impact on the quality of the meal; it results from improper calcium movement through the tree. It would normally pass since sunlight’s vitamin D would help, but the cloudy weather has prevented that from happening in the orchards. Since the consumer wants quality fruit, it needs to be graded out; ordinarily, we would need to hire 10–12 extra workers for packing, but our Global Scan 7 from MAF can grade it out.
The volume of Class I and II fruit will be impacted, and there will be a lot more Class III fruit on the market, but the yield of Navels won’t be affected. Six to ten days remain in the mid-season navel harvest, and then the late-season harvest will start in around two weeks. Tania claimed that, while considering the export markets, shipping has not become any simpler. “Ships are accessible, but the cost is exorbitant, and they don’t go to certain places, so this will affect where we send out produce. Although it appears that we assume all the risks, we have no control over when the containers will reach the markets.