Florida Department of Citrus

Florida Department of Citrus

November 24, 2011 07:00 ET

Florida Citrus Brings a Bit of the Sunshine State to the Great White North

The Florida Department of Citrus releases its annual State of Citrus Report as new citrus products arrive in Canadian grocery stores

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 24, 2011) -

Attention News/Health/Food & Lifestyle Editors:

Canadians looking to bring a breath of Florida sunshine into their lives need look no further than their supermarket shelves, as fresh Florida grapefruit makes its return to Canada. Loaded with natural vitamin content, Florida grapefruit contributes to both physical health and mental well-being.

To coincide with Florida grapefruit's return, The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) has released its annual 2011-2012 State of Citrus Report. The report provides Canadians with a 2011-2012 citrus crop forecast and information about the natural nutrient and vitamin content of Florida grapefruit, grapefruit juice and orange juice. Also included are delicious recipes and retailer information for both grocers and consumers.

Benefiting from more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, as well as the state's unique sandy soil and subtropical climate that makes it ideal for growing citrus, this year's Florida crop is particularly bountiful. There is a forecasted 5 per cent production increase for oranges and a forecasted 2 per cent production increase for grapefruit. This year also promises an extremely high-quality crop with full flavour and sweetness.

"While many fruits are out of season in the winter, Florida grapefruit is at its peak, making it the perfect choice for Canadians looking to eat in-season produce," said Nancy Brown, International Marketing Manager at the Florida Department Citrus.

With cold and flu season approaching, Canadians will surely welcome the arrival of Florida citrus. The natural nutrient and vitamin content of citrus fruit and fresh citrus products add to the value of the food in this category. The vitamin C contained in grapefruit, grapefruit juice and orange juice is a key nutrient to help support a healthy immune system, while the calcium and magnesium found in these products can help promote strong bone development and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

"Florida citrus is a delicious way to supply your body with vital nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help fight off seasonal flus and colds," says Lydia Knorr, registered dietitian. "Whether you prefer it in fruit or juice format, take comfort in knowing that Florida citrus is fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free and contains only natural sugars."

Other key trends from the new State of Citrus Report include:

  • For residents in Ontario, Quebec or Atlantic Canada concerned about their carbon footprint, Florida is geographically the closest source for grapefruit, grapefruit juice and orange juice.
  • There is a continued push for the "Humble Gourmet" movement, a trend which sees shoppers looking for restaurant-quality recipes that are healthy, quick and easy to make at home. The Florida citrus recipes featured in this year's State of Citrus report are versatile, simple to prepare and are both delicious and nutritious.
  • Florida citrus products offer customers important nutrients and sweet, fresh tastes at an affordable price – good news for health-conscious customers who are scrutinizing their grocery bills due to rising food prices.
  • Florida farmers have been growing citrus commercially since the mid-19th century. Now, the citrus industry is one of the single largest employers in the state of Florida, employing nearly eighty thousand workers.

For healthy citrus recipe ideas and additional information about Florida grapefruit, grapefruit juice and orange juice, visit www.floridacitrus.ca.

About the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC)

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) is an executive agency of the Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. A few of the popular varieties of Florida citrus fruit available in Canadian supermarkets are Ruby Red Grapefruit, Flame Grapefruit, and Marsh Grapefruit with 100 per cent pure Florida orange juice and Florida grapefruit juice available all year round.

To view the 2011-2012 State of Citrus Report, please visit the following link: http://floridacitrus.ca/FloridaCitrus/docs/Reports/English/FDOC%20State%20of%20Citrus%20Report%202011-2012%20-%20ENGLISH%20-%20FINAL.pdf

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