The price of orange juice is set to rise after poor harvests have led to a world shortage of the fruit. The price in shops could rise by as much as 30p a litre, consumers were warned.
Florida was one of the worst hit regions due to the recent hurricanes, and in South America crops were ravaged by frost. South Africa was also hit with flooding destroying harvests of juicing oranges .
Andrew Lord, managing director of The Serious Food Company, one of the leading suppliers of own label freshly squeezed orange juice on UK supermarket shelves, gave the price warning.
He said, “The current crop situation is going to affect the freshly-squeezed market sector most strongly as we are restricted in the type of oranges we can use,” he warned.
“The industry is doing its best to meet demand without compromising quality or taste but prices are massively increasing in line with the shortage.”
Mr Lord concluded by saying the result could mean a price increase between 20p and 30p per litre, but he did not think this would affect sales, which have been increasing by 6 per cent a year.
Industry estimates show Florida’s 2006 season production will stand at 135 million boxes, down from 147.9 million for last year’s crop. This equals a 9 per cent slide due to persistent hurricane-damage the state has endured throughout the year.
Mike Yetter, international business director of Florida’s Department of Citrus, admitted that process costs would rise, but also stated that oranges offer great value for money .
Other orange producing regions and countries that have also suffered small crop returns include Uruguay and Paraguay, where frost has destroyed nearly half of the nations crops. In South Africa floods have delayed picking resulting in below-average crops, while Brazil has had to shift its production to concentrated orange .