The days of summer citrus offerings being limited to juices and frozen products are long gone. Today, Duda Farm Fresh Foods makes fresh, high-quality citrus fruits available in the summer months because of the company’s strong import programs.
The company, now in its 16th year importing summer citrus, has added Cara Cara oranges to its lineup this season.
After the United States markets are out of the citrus growing season, imported citrus enters the country starting in early May. This year, the Southern Hemisphere experienced optimal pre-season weather. The result is that Dandy brand fruit is expected to have good sugar levels and great eating quality along with an increase in volume.
Alberto Cuellar, vice president of global business for the Oviedo, Fl-based company, said Duda Farm Fresh Foods is sourcing its summer citrus fruits from Chile, Uruguay and Peru.
“Our lineup of fresh citrus includes easy peelers such as clementines and mandarins, lemons, Cara Caras and Navels,” said Cuellar. “This year, easy peelers arrived the first week of May. Oranges are expected in limited volumes by mid-June, and lemons will run in July and August. The citrus import season typically lasts through late October, depending on weather conditions in the production regions.”
To ensure consumers receive excellent tasting fruit, Duda maintains its long-lasting relationships in the Southern Hemisphere to provide richer flavors and consistent quality. For the past 16 seasons, the Dandy brand has primarily sourced fruit from Chile, Uruguay and Peru, and it looks to continue bringing high-quality products to the United States from these growing regions.
“Our imported citrus program is something which we have worked hard to maintain over the years,” said Dan Duda, president of Duda Farm Fresh Foods. “Providing consistent, high-quality citrus offerings to our customers is one of our main priorities. We are proud to have a dedicated team of employees who have strong grower partnerships which deliver first class citrus solutions.”
Duda Farm Fresh Foods is a leading grower, shipper, processor and marketer of a wide range of fresh vegetables and citrus. Domestically, the company’s primary growing locations are in Florida, California, Arizona, Georgia and Michigan.
The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of A. Duda & Sons Inc., a family-owned, diversified land company, also based in Oviedo.
Cuellar noted that Duda Farm Fresh Foods is expecting an increase in volume in its summer citrus program this year.
“Optimal pre-season weather in the Southern Hemisphere, along with increased customer demand, are resulting in the higher volumes,” he said.
Products grown and marketed by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, including its citrus items, are sold under the Dandy label and are distributed nationwide.
The company has also added a shipping point in Los Angeles to better service its customers.
“Duda Farm Fresh Foods is partnering with Maruzen of America in its repacking and cold storage facility on the west coast,” said Cuellar. “This facility will help provide door-to-door service for the incoming citrus fruits. It is located in the convenient freight lane in Los Angeles, which allows us to efficiently and conveniently service our customers.”
He added that the good growing conditions for summer crop translates to great taste.
“We expect to have consistent eating quality and condition on all summer citrus throughout the season,” said Cuellar. “We now hope that the mild weather continues and allows us to have a good season.”