Argentine lemons break 17-year drought

  • Posted by santiagohussey 21 May

Argentine lemons break 17-year drought

This past week, Seald Sweet welcomed the arrival of the first containers of Argentine fresh lemons in 17 years to the U.S.

“Argentine lemons are considered the top lemons in the world with superior juice quality and content,” said Mayda Sotomayor, chief executive officer of Seald Sweet. “We are thrilled to be able to bring this quality, fresh product to U.S. consumers. Argentina is one of the largest, well-known lemon growers in the world and we always remained hopeful that this superior product would be back in our marketplace.”

Seald Sweet received Argentine lemons in the year 2000, before admissibility for Argentine lemons was revoked by USDA. It is anticipated to be the major U.S. receiver of lemons from Argentina this season. “We were one of the first importers then and are of the first importers this time as well,” said Sotomayor. “For 17 years, we have never given up hope and have continued contact and meetings with the growers. We held the belief that science would triumph and we would once again gain admissibility to the U.S. market.”

According to Sotomayor, Argentina’s supply answers a real demand in the market. “In the U.S., lemons are the third-most consumed citrus fruit and the ninth overall,” she said. “Lemons have gone from a per capita consumption of 2.03 in 1980 to 4.32 in 2015. The advantage of Argentina’s program is that we can provide fresh product to the marketplace instead of storage product. Retailers are requesting this as consumers increasingly demand affordable fresh lemons. We are answering the call from consumers for fresh fruit throughout the year.”

Seald Sweet notes the lemon program from Argentina has room to grow. “The producers in Argentina have formed an association called All Lemons to ensure consistent production of a quality lemon globally,” said Sotomayor. “We are working with them to increase supply and grow our consistent program as we see demand for fresh lemons during this window increasing.”

The lemons from Argentina arrive via the port of Philadelphia and Seald Sweet expects consistent shipments through mid-July.  The fruit will be handled through Seald Sweet’s own state-of-the-art logistics hub and packing facilities in New Jersey, close to the port to ensure quality control. “We are excited to get this product into the hands of our retail partners especially at this time of year — a great time to promote fresh lemon use,” said Sotomayor.

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