Oversize Australian citrus donated to charity in U.S.

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Oversize Australian citrus donated to charity in U.S.

Some citrus sent to the United States from Australia has been donated to charity because it was too big, according to Australian news website The Weekly Times.

A lower volume of fruit on trees led to bigger sizes after a heat wave in late 2009, the website said.

Richie Roberts, divisional manager of AgriExchange, said the fruit did not meet standards, according to the website.

"The high exchange rate, presence of Chile in the market, large fruit and softness issues combined to make the U.S. market difficult," Roberts is quoted as saying.

One export committee member criticized exporters for sending the oversize crops.

Riverina Citrus export committee member and grower Sue Brighenti said multiple packers had "let down" Australia's export program to the U.S. by sending inferior produce.

"We need good quality and smart marketing to stay in the market across the world," Brighenti is quoted as saying.

Within Australia, however, some supermarkets are relaxing their fruit standards and taking in items slightly damaged by severe floods so that they won’t be discarded, website The Land reported.

The adjustment means that many growers will see some income this season. Consumers will also benefit because the move will slow the anticipated spike in fruit and vegetable prices caused by the flooding, the website said.

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

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