Argentina is the eight largest producer of citrus fruits and the principal producer of lemons worldwide. It has been exporting fresh citrus fruits, fruit juices and essential oils since 1970. The production of citrus fruits in Argentina totals 2.5 million t. .
Argentinean citrus fruits are grown on a total surface of 150.000 ha. The quality and health of the fruits harvested is excellent and the strain on the environment and the natural resources is minimal.
The environmental conditions in the growing areas of Argentina are ideal for oranges, mandarins, grapefruits and lemons. The produce is grown in two main areas which benefit from their privileged location between the Tropic of Cancer and a latitude of 35º south: orange, grapefruit and lemons are to be found in the North-west, mainly the last in the province of Tucumán, whereas orange and mandarin plantations are predominant in the North-east. These fruits are harvested and exported virtually all year round in a wide range of varieties, thus allowing the produce to meet the demands of different markets.
The most important market for the 500,000 tones of citrus fruit which Argentina exports is the EU, which buys 75%. It is followed by Russia, other countries of Eastern Europe,, the Middle East and finally Asia, which is only buying 2% of Argentinean exports in the current year. This includes the demanding Japanese market, which Argentina has been supplying since 2002.
Citrus fruits from Argentina are now exported to over 80 of the world’s markets. Different growing areas and differing weather conditions combined with the use of state of the art technology, constant improvement of the varieties grown and one of the lowest values worldwide with regard to the use of chemicals allows Argentinean producers to offer citrus fruits of consistent high quality. These fruits are adapted to the preferences of the markets involved via their ideal combination of sweetness and acidity in conjunction with excellent color and appearance.
A country-wide traceability network for citrus fruits is in place in Argentina. This network is capable of informing the national phytosanitary authority, the manufacturer and the exporter of how each individual fruit treated, from the plant to the port from which it is shipped. This gives the importer a high degree of security with regard to the condition and safety of the product purchased.