December 18, 2015

Christmas Citrus

The tradition of gifting oranges in stockings at Christmas dates back to the times of Saint Nicholas. St Nicholas overheard a poor man talking about his worries for this three daughters, knowing the man wouldn’t accept charity he waited until the night and threw three bags of gold through the window. These bags all fell into stockings which were hung by the fireplace to dry. This began the custom of children hanging stocking out awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. This has led to three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, becoming one of the symbols for St. Nicholas.

In December 2014, we sold 5676 tons of clementines – the  equivalent weight of 33,388 reindeers. Enough to pull 4,175 sleighs!

The sale of clementines at the Co-op has seen a seven-fold increase this year thanks to the new easy-peeler seedless sweet clem fridge pack.

Easy-Peeler Seedless Sweet Clementines

Clementines have left the Satsuma in the shade and we believe there will be many hidden in childrens’ stockings this Christmas! In fact in the run up to Christmas we’ll sell around 100,000 packs of easy peelers a week at the Co-op; meaning we get a delivery from Spain every day!

There’s a lot of work and special farming techniques that go into ensuring there are no seeds in the Clementines. The growers in Spain take the following actions –

Orchard Layout – Careful planning when designing orchard layout, leaving sufficient distance between orchards of cross pollinating varieties.

Netting – Panting under netting reduce bee activity in the orchard and the possibility of cross pollination.

Isolated Farms – Due to the increase in demand for seedless easy peelers, larger producers are identifying isolated production opportunities where they are planting large solid blocks of Clementines without the risk of cross contamination.

When lying the 5676 tons of Clementines sold in December side to side they would equate to the height of 17,500 Rockefeller Christmas Trees.

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