MANDARINS are flowing from farms to supermarket shelves as the season gets into full swing.
Australian growers are expected to produce more than 100,000 tonnes of mandarins throughout the 2016 season.
The mandarin season runs from April through to October with more than 10 varieties available.
Imperial mandarins are now available in good supply from Queensland with small volumes of Satsuma mandarins from South Australia also coming in.
Citrus Australia chief executive officer, Judith Damiani, said growers are on track to deliver a full-supply of high quality fruit due to favourable growing conditions.
“The demand in Australia and around the world for easy-peel, sweet, seedless mandarins continues to rise and Australian growers are responding with increased production and new varieties,” Ms Damiani said.
“A single large mandarin provides adults with their daily intake of Vitamin C. They are also easy to peel and, best of all, delicious to eat anytime of the day.
“Free from cholesterol, sodium and fat, low in calories and high in fibre, mandarins really are the perfect natural healthy snack, particularly for kid’s lunch boxes."
The easily recognisable Sumo Citrus mandarins will also be making an appearance from August 1.
The fruit, with its notable "top knot", will be available exclusively from Woolworths stores in all states.
A larger number of maturing trees and more licensed growers mean about 50,000 trays of Sumo Citrus are expected to be produced this year.
Justin Kusselke of Cross Farms Curlwaa, NSW said the mandarins have grown to become a much anticipated fruit.
"This year marks their fourth year on Australian supermarket shelves - the appetite amongst Australian consumers just seems to grow with each year, which is great news," he said.
“Each year we learn more and more about the growing habits and challenges of the variety - when is best to pick the fruit, how best to cure the fruit after harvest, what temperature variance is acceptable in transport.
"We hand pick each and every Sumo Citrus mandarin - although they look big and tough, the peel is actually very tender.
“We hope to begin harvesting in early July and the hand picking process means we will still be picking long after consumers have started to enjoy the first waves of this year’s crop.”