Turnaround for grapefruit industry

The grapefruit industry has achieved a significant turnaround over the last five years following the difficulties experienced in the sector in 2012, according to Citrus Growers’ Association CEO Justin Chadwick.

“Renewed interest in the category is confirmed through higher demand for grapefruit buds from the Citrus Foundation Black and higher demand for nursery trees,” he said.

He noted that the resurgence of the industry had been possible due to the monitoring of packed and shipped data by the Grapefruit Focus Group which allowed producers to make informed decisions.

“The grapefruit turnaround is due to less supply (most southern hemisphere countries have removed their grapefruit), responsible shipping in terms of spreading the season, new markets (South Korea in particular), and preferred varieties being produced and shipped,” Chadwick told FTW Online.

He pointed out that grapefruit exports had reached some level of equilibrium, with the EU remaining the largest importer (41% at 5.5 million cartons), followed by Asia (23% at 3.1 million) and Russia (8% at just over 1 million). Smaller quantities were sent to the UK, North America and the Middle East.

“Growers will continue to concentrate on fresh export and local market sectors as processed returns continue to disappoint,” added Chadwick.

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