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Success at home and abroad for a WA citrus grower

One of Western Australia’s largest citrus companies says growing export markets in Asia was its highlight of the 2017 season.

Moora Citrus says demand for its produce has been strong both at home and Export and Distribution Manager, Damien Guthrey says the plan was to forge ongoing relationships with one of Australia’s largest growing overseas markets.

“Whilst our product range remained stable our focus was on achieving a better level of understanding of our Asian supply partners and how best to service them,” he said. “This included trips to China by Moora Citrus and the return visit from partners in China to share knowledge around harvesting maturities as well as packaging.”

Moora Citrus has been supplying the domestic market for close to seven years with the expansion into export markets coming in the last three years; beginning with the Chinese market in the first year and now it ships into seven different markets across Asia. Overall the company says it was an average year for production.

“We experienced higher than average rainfall across the season this led to challenges in getting the fruit picked at the correct times,” Mr Guthrey said. “Despite these challenges the feedback we received from both domestic and export partners was positive. Pricing across the both domestic and export market was up on 2016 values.”

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The company supplies Navels and Mandarins throughout the middle months of the year, from May to October. However, there were a few hurdles the industry had to overcome in December, after the traditional citrus season had ended.

“There was foresight early to recognise that December was a problematic month for retailers with regards to orange supply,” Mr Guthrey said.

“Talking to retailers it was evident that stored local Late Lanes by December were softening and had poor shelf life whilst conversely the early imported Navels out of the US were heavily gassed with low brix and a substandard eating quality compared to fruit arrivals in January.”

Moora Citrus is one of only two WA growers with commercial plantings of Midknight, which is a late season, or summer variety. The unique, seedless and juicy Valencia variety is normally right up until Christmas.

“With the Midknight we saw the perfect opportunity to extend the season and solve a problem within the market,” he said. “The Midknight is superior to traditional Valencia’s in both its appearance and eating quality leading to it being accepted as the orange of choice for retailers’ shelves in December.”

The company also unveiled the largest citrus packing shed in Western Australia, in Bindoon, earlier this month.

Source: Fresh Plaza

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Fresh from our farm to your fruit bowl!

Ever wondered what it takes to get an orange from the Moora Citrus farm to your fruit bowl?

We’ve made a little video that tells the story of how quickly we work to get our oranges picked, packed, marketed, delivered and in store, ready for you to pop in your shopping trolley.

Click on any of the following images:

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Orchard: Moora Citrus, Moora

Packshed: Strathspey, Karragullen

Market agent: Etherington, Canning Vale

Retailer: Gilbert’s Fresh, Hilton

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WA couple turn sheep paddock into citrus orchard after underground water discovery

Could underground water turn the Western Australian wheatbelt town of Moora into a horticulture hotspot? West Australian farming couple Sue Middleton and Michael Brennan believe they are proof it can.

Nine years ago, they established a 170,000-tree citrus orchard on a sheep property at Moora.

The presence of underground water gave them and their business partners the confidence to invest $20 million in the project, which has created jobs and pumped millions into the local economy.

      

“If this was still a sheep paddock it would produce about $150,000 worth of income a year and there’d be less than one job,” Ms Middleton said.

“As a horticulture business it will produce $15 to 20 million in turnover a year, plus 40 to 50 jobs, so the difference is absolutely extraordinary, and for the community of Moora that means it’s been future-proofed as well.”

The council hopes Moora Citrus’ success would encourage others to switch to or invest in horticulture.

“Everything for the last 100 years has happened in the old traditional form of cropping and mixed farming which is low human input — Moora Citrus has been a trailblazer and shown what can be done,” said councillor Colin Gardiner.

“We are optimistic there are projects in the wind where that water can drive intensive horticulture, which gives you so much more potential for jobs and that ripple effect which goes into your whole economy.”

      

To read whole article: ABC Rural

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6PRs Taste of the West

Whilst the start of the WA citrus season has been a little later than usual, thanks to Mother Nature keeping us on our toes, the local markets have since been brimming with our early season Navel oranges. One things for sure though, our Imperial mandarins can never come soon enough!

       Tune into 6PR (May 2017)

Our Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Brennan, was up at sunrise for 6PRs Taste of the West segment to talk all things Imperial mandarins and ready the taste buds in time for the scheduled pick in a few weeks time.

Click here to listen to the radio interview.

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It’s a Scoop (Online)

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Mid this year, one of Perth’s publishing greats Scoop Magazine closed it’s doors after 19 years in the lifestyle magazine business. The company, which started with five staff members in 1997, produced a series of lifestyle magazines, including Scoop Magazine, Scoop Traveller and Scoop Homes & Art.

Moora Citrus was fortunate to work with some of Scoop Magazine’s journalists for our 2015 Summer Citrus Feast in the Orchard.

In the wake of the print magazine, their online business Scoop Digital has forged ahead and earlier this month wrote an article about the evolution of Moora Citrus…


 

One of life’s simple pleasures is getting your hands on fresh, flavour packed, juicy fruit. But these days, it seems to be getting harder to do so with many supermarket offerings coming from far afield and, perhaps, taking a long time to get from tree to store. Well, hope is at hand with Moora Citrus making it just that bit easier to access fresh, delicious citrus fruit with their dedicated, innovative horticulture project in the WA Wheatbelt.

Click here to read the whole article.

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Summer Citrus Feast – the 2016 sequel

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Well, we did it again. The orchard hosted yet another spectacular Summer Citrus Feast to remember. It’s become such a coveted event that we even have a wait list for 2017…

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We didn’t think that Fervor could create any culinary masterpiece more spectacular than last year but they proved us wrong. They showcased our Summer Orange in ways that your imagination could never conjure. Pairing our exclusive citrus with native ingredients like emu, wattleseed, rosella, saltbush, kangaroo, quandong, lemon myrtle and many more locally sourced delicacies.

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We were so fortunate to be joined by Perth Munchkin and she wrote a wonderfully comprehensive and mouth-watering account of the evening. Click here to read her blog entry.

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Moora Citrus awarded state funding to assist exporting

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Whilst Moora Citrus is a small fish in a big pond when it comes to exporting to international markets, we’re certainly pioneering citrus exports for WA. As the first WA company to ever export citrus into Japan, we’ve gained valuable experience to exporting our oranges to various markets including high protocol countries such as China.

Our export numbers are incrementally growing each year from our modest one-and-only container for the 2014 season.

Being able to be competitive in an international marketplace is critical. Australia produces some of the highest quality citrus in the world but we also have some of the highest production and processing costs.

In a concerted effort to better equip WA agrifood exporting businesses to develop and implement strategies to capture export market opportunities and attract investment, the WA State Government announced the Grants for Asian Market Export program. In round one, seven WA agrifood businesses shared in more than $1.4 million in business grants, as part of the program to facilitate access to the growing premium export market of Asia.

Moora Citrus was awarded $175,200 for our Premium Technology for Premium Markets project which seeks to increase our capacity to meet current and expected future volumes of high quality fruit suitable for high value export market.

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This project is supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Grants for Asian Market Export program, funded by Royalties for Regions.

For more information, click here.

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WA Worth Sharing

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Moora Citrus has joined other well-renowned WA brands in a campaign that aims to double the value of the state’s agrifood industry within 10 years.

The State Government will spend $8.1 million on the WA Worth Sharing campaign to help WA agrifood producers raise their profiles internationally. The campaign was unveiled by Premier Colin Barnett in mid-October to local companies, international consuls and industry groups. Funded by Royalties for Regions, the brand will help the government achieve its goal to double the value of WA agrifoods industry by 2025.

Already 25 companies have signed up, including wineries Vasse Felix and Leeuwin Estate, seafood groups MG Kailis and Mareterram, and dairy producers Brownes and Bannister Downs.

WA Worth Sharing - Moora Citrus

Mr Barnett said the brand will represent our state’s premium agrifood produce “grown in clean, fresh air, under blue skies and bathed in sunshine.”

“It will signify our modern agriculture and production methods and high food safety standards, which are greatly valued in international markets. The brand is based around the idea of sharing, and Western Australian companies and their individual stories will be at the very heart of this campaign. Companies already involved range from some of WA’s most successful agricultural exporters through to smaller, family-run businesses.”

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WA State Development Minister Bill Marmion said the brand had been developed through comprehensive research and testing. “This is a three-year initiative that we will continually monitor and refine,” he said. “We expect to launch the brand soon through an international advertising campaign in Singapore then China, with Japan and Indonesia to follow next year.”

WA Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said regional businesses would feature strongly in the campaign. “So far, we have companies involved from Shark Bay, Manjimup, Margaret River, Esperance, Harvey, Moora and many other towns across the State,” he said. “This brand focuses on the key strengths of our diverse State, from its immense size and sunshine, to the pristine environment and transparent supply chains.”

Article source: Perth Now

Click here or on the image above to watch the WA Worth Sharing promotional video about Moora Citrus.

WA Worth Sharing

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Moora Citrus does the Moora Show

Moora Citrus has been involved in the Moora Show ever since we grew our first orange. But this year, we took it to the next level and became a major sponsor of the event!

Events like the Moora Show are integral for regional communities. They showcase the agricultural produce, provide entertainment and perhaps most importantly, they bring everyone together for a social catch up. The Show program has modernised over the years and we now attract visitors from towns near and far. In 2016, Moora hosted it’s 105th Show, not even missing a beat during either World Wars or when the town was devastated by flooding in 1999 – a true testament to the resilience of the community.

Moora Citrus recognises that we’re a big part of the community and we love that people get just as excited about our oranges and mandarins as we do. The Moora Show is just one way we are able to connect directly with our proud and local Moora Citrus ambassadors.

Moora Citrus sponsored a number of categories in the show exhibits, including arts and crafts.

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The students from St Joseph’s Primary School embraced the citrus theme and created some particularly juicy and interesting critters and creatures!

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We also exhibited a number of the classroom workbooks that the school students had developed during Term 3, including a hands on tour of the orchard. Click here to read more.

Every single one of the Moora Citrus orchard staff came to the Moora Show and helped out in our disply – from making freshly sqeezed OJ, whipping up choc orange mousse, giving away orange helium balloons or helping show attendees with the ‘guess the number of oranges’ competition.

All-in-all, we thoroughly enjoyed being out amongst the community and sharing some of our zesty love with our fellow Moora residents.

Huge thanks to the Central Midlands Agricultural Society and all the volunteers who make the event possible every year. We were honoured to awarded the 2016 Best Commercial Display. We’re already looking forward to a bigger, better and juicier event next year!

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My Orange Journal

The students at our local St Joseph’s Primary School spent Term 3 studiously exploring all things citrus! From understanding the production cycle of an orange to extending their juicy vocabulary; from using maths to figure out serving sizes to using oranges for arts and crafts, and perhaps most tasty of all – cooking up a orange-choc-cake storm!

In early September, we welcomed 35 students and 4 amazing adult helpers to the orchard to get a behind the scenes look at what happens on the orchard. The students asked great questions and were very keen to learn about all aspects of growing oranges and mandarins.

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They created colourful and very informative workbooks, entitled ‘My Orange Journal’, which featured all of the different citrus-themed activities they had undertaken during the term. It was such a delight reading through each of them to see what the students had learned.

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The workbooks and many of the art and craft creations formed part of our display at the Moora Show.

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Moora is on our map!

We got our first ever love note from a secret admirer at the Dowerin Field Days! The annual two-day event is a mainstay in the calendar for many in the Wheatbelt and across WA alike. Record crowds flocked to the otherwise small country town to learn about the latest innovations in agriculture and catch up with industry colleagues and mates.

Moora Citrus partnered with the Shire of Moora to exhibit some of our shire’s greatest assets – our oranges and mandarins of course! We took a car load across from the orchard each day and event attendees were gifted their own juicy taste of Moora to keep the energy levels brimming as they wandered around.

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After giving away hundreds of mandarins on the first day, we packed down the display for the night, leaving a handful of mandarins for the following day.

When we returned in the morning, we had been left the most delightful hand-written note, which read “Hi there, We came back for your delicious oranges. Many thanks. Moora is now on our map! :)”

Needless to say, we were tickled pink – or rather, orange!

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Make some marmalade, do some good

A few weeks ago a friend of ours, Sophie Budd of Taste Budds Cooking Studio, did a call out for some oranges. Well, it wasn’t quite Sophie that did the call out, it was a bunch of people from 100 Hampton Road

Click on the image below to play the video.


These people are just a handful of some of the most vulnerable people in WA.

100 Hampton Road is a project designed by FORM which works with the residents of a 190-bed lodging house at 100 Hampton Road, Fremantle. It is part of the broader PUBLIC program exploring how art and creativity can be used for public good. Through the support of BHP Billiton, FORM has created a rich project of artist residencies, renovations, and social programming with the aim of bringing residents together in a positive, creative, and convivial environment, and enhance their involvement within the local community.

Taste Budds Cooking Studio is just one of dozens of Perth businesses, big and small, committed to creating real and positive change in the lives of those residing at 100 Hampton Road. Sophie has been running weekly cooking classes and shared lunches creating a range of easy, nutritious meals. Check out her Instagram account to see the smiles of all those involved!

So, where do the oranges come into play?

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Well, those people you see in that video, they made marmalade with boxes of oranges that Moora Citrus donated. They have then gone onto sell their marmalade at local farmers markets and earn a few dollars of their own. And that, my friends, is how micro-enterprises begin in the hope that we can break the cycle of poverty.

Make some marmalade, do some good.

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Moora Citrus