Stem & Leaf “a wonderful barometer of freshness” in mandarins
“In our area of Central California, the harvest typically starts in late October-early November,” shared Sandra Bertelli of Fruition Sales. “We offer a stem and leaf option on mandarins from November to May, encompassing several varieties. Our first sort of mandarin available with leaf is that the Satsuma mandarin.”
Stem and leaf takes extra care
According to growers and processors, it takes more care to supply stem and leaf mandarins. this is often because all the fruit has got to be hand-harvested so as to not damage any a part of the leaves and stems. They’re also shipped rapidly so as to take care of the freshness of the leaf. Suppliers say the demand for them is growing, with consumers showing interest in both the freshness aspect, also because the celebratory presentation.
“The fruit is clipped from the trees carefully to incorporate the leaf within the clip,” Bertelli noted. “The leaf may be a wonderful barometer of the freshness. Mandarins with leaf are harvested and shipped within 24-36 hours of harvest, therefore the leaves will remain fresh once they reach their destination. Consumers are getting more educated and conscious of the seasonality of produce.”
“There is robust demand for mandarins with stem and leaf throughout the citrus season,” she continued. “The demand is especially strong before the winter holidays and within the weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year .”
Why only mandarins?
If the recognition of stem and leaf mandarins is growing, why can’t producers also ship other citrus varieties during this manner? the solution unfortunately has got to do with citrus greening. While stem and leaf mandarins are often made available in any region that grows citrus, there’s a restriction of movement for other citrus varieties thanks to quarantine regulations, with only mandarins currently allowed to be shipped with leaves.
“The program is presumably not getting to be expanded to other varieties,” Bertelli explained. “In California there are quarantines in situ that restrict and/or regulate the movement of bulk citrus. The quarantines are in situ to guard the California citrus industry from the Asian Citrus Psyllid and therefore the disease it spreads, HLB. The psyllid are often spread during the transportation of fruit from the sector to the packing facility. Mandarins are the sole citrus commodity with leaf which will be shipped in and out of those quarantine areas, after processing. The industry is tightly regulated to slow the spread of HLB which could devastate our industry, very similar to it’s in Florida, where citrus growers lost $2.9 billion in revenue between 2007-2014.”
Other citrus at Fruition Sales
Bertelli said that mandarins with leaf are generally available in bulk cartons or in smaller consumer packaging like a clamshell. She also said that this is often not the sole citrus program the corporate has running at this point of year, with more citrus varieties available throughout the season.
“Harvesting and packing mandarins with stem and leaves is one among the various things that we do. The growers and ranches of Ripe to You® supply over 40 varieties citrus from October-June to customers across the USA and abroad.”