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AUSTRALIA CITRUS COME TO U.S. MARKET

 AUSTRALIA CITRUS COME TO U.S. MARKET
 FORT PIERCE, Fla., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- After 10 years of


government-to-government negotiation, the quarantine on Australia citrus was officially lifted May 22, 1992 allowing importation of citrus from South Australia's Riverland growing district.
 The final rule was signed by Robert Melland, administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS, USDA), and published in the Federal Register on May 28, 1992.
 The packing and shipping of citrus for export to the USA will be coordinated by the newly formed Riversun Export Group Ltd. The group was formed by the major packers and exporters in South Australia and Sunraysia: Rivsam Coop. Ltd., Kangara Citrus Pty Ltd. and Mildura Cooperative Fruit Company Ltd.
 DNE World Fruit Sales, the largest independent shipper of Florida citrus, has been appointed the exclusive marketer for the Australia citrus. Their responsibility is to establish a uniform marketing program and create a niche market for the South Australian citrus. The region grows Navel oranges, Valencia oranges, lemons, limes, Mandarins and grapefruit.
 DNE has planned a reception for buyers, government officials and dignitaries on July 27 in Teaneck, N.J. Australian representatives including growers, packers, exporters and government officials will also attend. Fresh Australian Navel oranges -- flown in for the occasion -- will be served to honor the historical moment.
 The reception will officially kick off the marketing program internally dubbed, "Australia Citrus Launch." As part of the marketing program, DNE plans to take fresh samples of the Navel oranges -- packaged under the DNE brand "Australia PRIDE" (R) -- to the major terminals in New York, Philadelphia and Boston. Six tons of fresh Australia Navels are being flown in for sampling.
 David Mixon, vice president of DNE World Fruit Sales, commented, "Taking fresh samples to the trade is very important to the success of this marketing program. Buyers need to feel it, peel it and taste it to fully appreciate the unique quality of this fruit. Many buyers are still getting used to the idea of a Navel during the summer season. Opening the window on Australia Navel oranges is a natural for the trade and the consumer. Out-of-season imported Navels will stimulate consumer interest in citrus -- as did winter fruit imported from Chile.
 "Consumers will now have the opportunity to buy an Australia Navel which has high sugar and high juice content, and bright color. This is an upscale piece of fruit which will be sold by upscale retailers who want to give their customers the option to buy a specialty fruit."
 According to Mixon, this first season for marketing the product is short due to the late start, which also means they will have less volume of fruit -- approximately 146,000 -- 4/5 equivalent cartons. This was a factor in targeting the northeast major markets.
 In a normal year the company anticipates a volume of 300,000 to 600,000 equivalent cartons of Navels. Production normally runs from June to mid-September.
 The South Australia citrus will be shipped from the port in Adelaide, which is located within 50 Km of the Riverland district. The first vessel, "Kaneshima Maru" is scheduled to arrive in Delaware the first week in August carrying 46,000 -- 4/5 equivalent cartons. The final shipment of 100,000 -- 4/5 equivalent cartons will arrive two weeks later aboard the "Washington."
 The pack size will be from 48s to 113s, with the majority of the fruit peaking at size 72s - 100s.
 Mixon stated, "As their marketing representative, our commitment is long term to the growers in the South Australia Riverland growing district. They have a product that is a natural for the trade and the consumer. We intend to establish that niche market."
 DNE World Fruit Sales, the marketing arm of Bernard Egan & Company, markets in excess of 10 million cartons of their own Florida citrus. Bernard Egan & Company, well known in the Florida citrus industry, recently celebrated its 75th anniversary. Corporate headquarters for both companies are located in Fort Pierce, Fla.
 -0- 7/8/92
 /CONTACT: David Mixon of DNE World Fruit Sales, 407-465-1110/ CO: DNE World Fruit Sales ST: Florida IN: FOD SU:


JJ-AW -- FL009 -- 7520 07/08/92 15:20 EDT
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Date:Jul 8, 1992
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