Orri Jaffa mandarins from Israel are forecast to see unprecedented imports into North America this season. ( Courtesy Plant Production and Marketing Board of Israel )

Orri Jaffa mandarins, developed in Israel, will see big increases in the U.S. and Canada during the January-May import season.

The sales prediction, from the Plant Production and Marketing Board of Israel, is based on huge growth in North American mandarin category, which now accounts for 40% of the U.S. citrus market, according to a news release from the Tel Aviv-based marketing board.

The Orri Jaffa mandarin, developed at the Israeli Volcani Research Center, peels easily, has “virtually no seeds,” and has a long shelf life, according to the release.

“The U.S. market for easy-to-peel mandarins is substantial and holds promise as a developing target market for Israeli citrus exports,” Tal Amit, director of the citrus division for the Plant Production and Marketing Board of Israel, said in the release. “The success of easy-peeler mandarins in particular can be easily credited to the fruit’s great flavor and unbeatable convenience.”

In the past five seasons, North American citrus imports of Israeli citrus has tripled to 9,000 tons last seasons, with about 5,300 tons of easy-to-appeal mandarins, according to the release.

This season, the Orri Jaffa is forecast to hit 9,000 tons in the North American markets. Orri Jaffas are exported to 45 countries, with 78% going to Europe and about 18% to North America.

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