Summer Citrus from South Africa's Suhanra Conradie Talks 20 Years of Success
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
SAN ANTONIO, TX - At Viva Fresh this year, there was a dazzling array of produce on display, but one category that always draws oohs and ahhs is citrus. The tart-sweet treat that everyone craves for its flavor and variety is what Summer Citrus from South Africa is all about. Speaking with CEO Suhanra Conradie on the showroom floor, besides being delightful, was a chance to learn about the grower’s recent milestone and upcoming summer citrus season.
“2019 is a big year for Summer Citrus from South Africa; we are celebrating 20 years of success—we entered this market in 1999, and with the support of floor importers and retailers, we’ve established a really solid business here in the U.S. Relationships really form the backbone of our business,” she told me.
Suhanra clued me in to what’s ahead in citrus, and let me tell you, there’s a lot to look forward to this summer. Easy Peeler clementines will hit the market mid-May to the end of May, with oranges following close behind, becoming available around the end of June and early July. The Star Ruby Grapefruit shows up in mid-June and is available till September, and mandarins will be available August and September.
I learned from Suhanra that when Summer Citrus from South Africa first began importing into the U.S., it was basically the only country of origin on the East Coast and Australia on the West Coast. The citrus category has grown six times over the last 12 years, and that momentum coupled with a collaborative approach, continue to propell the grower forward, hopefully by another 20 years.
“A program like this cannot be successful without the support of our service providers, our importers, and our retailers, and soon you’ll be able to enjoy some sweet and delicious citrus from South Africa in the summer,” Suhanra concluded.
For more details on all your favorite summer citrus, check out our exclusive video above.