Despite the concern that California is planting too many clementine varieties, Mulholland still sees potential for growth.
“If people are still planting, it means there’s still room for growth in terms of demand,” he said. “That growth may come at the expense of other varietals, such as navels. Then again, when you look at the overall consumption in Europe of easy-peelers versus current U.S. consumption, we have a lot of room for growth.”
Producing a seedless clementine is much easier for growers in Spain and Morocco, because their groves are separate from the seeded varieties, Mixon said.
“We fight the seeds in California,” he said. “In certain areas we net them and do the best we can.” With groves closer together, however, he said “it’s almost impossible to eliminate seeds.”