Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
With its ever widening range of fruit and vegetables, Cyprus has quite justifiably gained a reputation in international markets as "the garden of the Mediterranean". In Cyprus, a wide range of soil types coupled with a number of unique macro-climates, favour the production of a variety of high quality products, produced and packed in up to date packing houses of latest technology, conforming with both European and International standards.
Crops include a full range of citrus produce, available from October to June, white seedless and black grapes exported in the summer and a substantial volume of top quality new potatoes being shipped in winter and early spring. In recent years, a major expansion in out of season salads has been apparent, particularly in specialised items such as coriander, spinach, okra, methi and a wide range of fresh aromatic herbs.
Cyprus offers a full range of citrus fruit available from October to June, consisting of the popular varietties of oranges, lemons, grapefruit and soft citrus. Citrus production takes place on 54.000 hectares in the south west of the island near Limassol and Paphos, and in the west towards Nicosia - orange orchards cover 1.830 ha, mandarins 2.000 ha, grapefruit 720 ha and lemon groves 850 ha. Cyprus offers a full range of citrus fruit available from October to June, consisting of the popular varietties of oranges, lemons, grapefruit and soft citrus. Citrus production takes place on 54.000 hectares in the south west of the island near Limassol and Paphos, and in the west towards Nicosia - orange orchards cover 1.830 ha, mandarins 2.000 ha, grapefruit 720 ha and lemon groves 850 ha.
Originally based on clementines, Cyprus has had experience of specialised soft citrus growing for many years. Mandora is now the single largest citrus crop in Cyprus and E.U. is the main importer of the variety. Mandarins come on stream in January and are exported almost in their entirety. Some quantities of minneolas are also available around Christmas, as well as Nova and Ellendale.
The reputation earned by Cyprus for high quality oranges, also reflects decades of experience with this crop. The main varieties grown are Navel, Oval and Valencia late. The fact that Cyprus has been able to maintain and improve export volumes, underlines the careful husbandry and skilled marketing undertaken by growers/exporters.
Cultivation of lemons is steeped in the history of Cyprus. The high demand for the preferred thin-skinned, juicy fruit has ensured that the island maintains its place as a major winter and spring supplier. Harvesting and exports normally start in mid-September, with a big volume of crop, around 75 per cent, being shipped to both EU and non-EU countries.
The Cyprus grapefruit has a high juice and sugar content which is the result of virtually perfect growing conditions. New plantations have been established and Cyprus has now an export capacity for both white Marsh and red flesh grapefruit varieties. Exports equates to almost 80 per cent of total production.
Cyprus is a producer of table grapes.The grape production in the island is as ancient as the history of the country. Table grapes are grown along the coastline and on the lower mountain slopes in the area stretching from Limassol to Paphos. Grape maturity varies by area thereby enabling the season to be extended. Main varieties grown are Sultana (including organic grapes), Thompson, Perlette and Superior, available during the period June to September.
The cultivation of aromatic plants started in Cyprus in 1990. The plants are offered in a fresh or dry form, but can also be distilled for essential oils.
Cyprus production of aromatic plants is considered to be of special quality, due to the warm climate and the clear water available in the island. Demand is increasing in export markets, with basil, in particular, showing great potential.
Basil is a versatile herb having different uses in various types of food. Whilst it has a special affinity with tomatoes and tomato-based dishes.
Basil, Bay, Rosemary, Dictamnus, Thyme, Fennel, Marjoram, Mint, Capparis, Lavender, Hyssop, Sideritis, Rosa Damascena, Salvia, Origanum, Balm, Tarragon, Mentha and Lemon Verbena.
Seasonal Availability: All year round
To view the main exporters of fresh fruits and vegetables, look at the list provided by the Ministry of energy, Commerce and Industry.