Cyprus grapefruit is regarded as among the best in the world. It has a high juice and sugar content which is a result of virtually perfect growing conditions.
Producers have concentrated, until recently, mainly on the white fleshed Marsh Seedless variety which, together with other citrus, is grown mainly in the Limassol area. However, new plantations are being established in the Paphos coastal area with an increasing number of growers now opting for the red flesh variety to meet increased market demand for this type of grapefruit. It is expected that this trend will be continued in the future.
White Marsh Seedless, Star Ruby, Rio Red
Grapefruit: October to June
Lemons and Cyprus are synonymous. Cultivation of this crop is steeped in the history of the island. Cyprus not only enjoys international renown for the top quality of its lemons, but also it boasts one of the highest local consumption rates in the world.
This latter fact, in itself, has contributed to the highly professional attitude in growing and handling. The fruit is grown in most of the areas on the island able to support citrus.
The healthy demand which exists for the preferred thin-skinned, juicy fruit grown in Cyprus has ensured that the island maintains its place as a major winter and spring supplier.
Lapithiodiko, Eureka, Lisbon
Lemons: October to May
The reputation earned by Cyprus for high quality oranges reflects 50 years’ experience with this crop. Many growers and exporters can trace their history back several generations.
Considerable progress has been made since the first commercial groves were planted near Phassouri. Major expansion has taken place and, while the main area is still centred along the coastal belt around Limassol, new groves have been planted through to Paphos in the west and in selected areas in east and central Cyprus.
The fact that Cyprus has been able to maintain and improve export volumes, in contrast to many other countries, says a great deal for the careful husbandry and skilled marketing undertaken by the growers.
Major investment in an infrastructure based on some of the most modern pack houses in the world, equipped with cold storage, product labelling facilities and semi-automatic packing, ensures that quality and branding is controlled from the groves to the market.
Navels, Ovals (Shamoutis), Valencia Lates
Navels: December to January
Ovals: December to March
Valencia Lates: February to June
Soft Citrus and Hybrids
Originally based on clementines, Cyprus has had experience of specialised soft citrus growing for many years.
Production currently represents around 11% of the total island citrus crop, but the increasing demands for easy-peelers on the world market has encouraged growers to expand and adapt their citrus production with particular emphasis on Mandoras and Minneolas.
Soft citrus used to be produced only in the Limassol area, but research has shown the viability of many exciting new strains that can be grown throughout the citrus area, particularly to the west where there are already a number of new groves coming into production.
This development has been given a further boost by a government scheme which provides growers with the opportunity to acquire modern root stocks. As a result, there has been interest in a wider range of varieties which, in the next decade, will have considerable impact on the overall structure of the industry.
The fragile nature of the easy-peeler varieties has mean that exporters and co-operatives have invested in acquiring the necessary skills required in handling and packing. This ensures that the produce arrives on the market in quality condition. Labelling of individual fruit is a facility which is becoming readily available.
All fruit conforms to EU standards and is subjected to government inspection at pack house level and certified prior to export.
Mandoras, Minneolas, Nova, Clementines
Mandoras: February to April
Clementines & Nova: November to December
Minneolas: January to March