Limoneira has about 2,000 acres of lemon groves. Lemon volume is two-to-one over the company’s other citrus products — blood oranges, cara caras, navels, pomelos and minneolas — combined, Teague said. The business model’s growth plans do not call for additional acreage in the California desert or Mexico, he said, but could very well include new varieties.
“If there’s something out there, we try it,” Teague said.
The company already grows the Limoneira lemon, a seedless variety, and three other seedless varieties developed by the University of California. It also grows virtually all of the pink variegated lemons in California.
Mandarins are not on the Limoneira experimental list, Teague said, “because there are other strong players in specialty citrus.”
Organic lemons play a small role at Limoneira, due in large measure to the fact that organic produce is more of a retail product as opposed to foodservice.
For the coming lemon deal, Arizona’s volume will be about the same as last season, Teague said, but he expects increased volumes in California’s growing regions: up as much as 12% in the desert, about 10% in the San Joaquin Valley and for the coast region’s spring/summer 2011 production, volume could be up about 20%, he said.
“There should be good lemon supplies for the next 12 months,” Teague said.