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Oppy cultivates citrus from Down Under

Richard Byllaardt
Richard Byllaardt

Oppy is strengthening its international presence by forging relationships with Australian citrus growers, aided by Richard Byllaardt and David Stevens, Oppy’s newly designated field agents for the land Down Under.

"We are pleased to be on the ground, helping Oppy establish new relationships," Byllaardt said. Growing one of the largest and most successful citrus growers in Australia, his extensive travels throughout the Northern and Southern Hemisphere have enabled Byllardt to establish a vast network across the globe. He also currently serves as chair of Citrus Australia, chair of Australia and New Zealand’s International Fresh Produce Association and board director on the Global International Fresh Produce Association.

Stevens is a fourth-generation citrus grower, and widely regarded as one of Australia’s most experienced citrus agronomists. Stevens consults for a number of citrus growers across Australia and is also chair of the Citrus Australia regional advisory committee.

"Richard's and David’s invaluable experience and knowledge will greatly benefit our endeavors," said Oppy's Category Director of Citrus and Avocados Rodrigo Lopez. "We are thrilled to have both of them supporting our goal to bring more high-quality Australian fresh produce to North America."

David Stevens
David Stevens

Oppy said it is proud to introduce its latest citrus varieties from Australia, including the seedless Daisy and Dekopon mandarin. “Both of these varieties offer an unparalleled eating experience and exceptional quality,” Lopez said.

The Dekopon mandarin is a one-of-a-kind fruit. With a unique appearance and delightfully sweet taste, it consistently delivers full and satisfying flavor, shared Byllaardt. “As the Dekopon requires delicate handling, it is harvested with utmost care to ensure customers receive the highest quality. We anticipate its arrival to the North American market by early September.”

Rodrigo Lopez
Rodrigo Lopez

The market won’t have to wait as long for the Daisy, however, with fruit expected to arrive at the end of July. "Daisy mandarins are easy to peel and provide a truly enjoyable eating experience,” Lopez said. “With their high sugar content and consistent quality, this unique variety from Oppy is seedless and is in high demand among consumers."

Byllaardt noted that these varieties not only stand out for their exceptional flavor and quality but also for their resilience, requiring fewer pesticides and less water compared to other citrus varieties due to their unique growing methods.

With Byllaardt's and Steven’s assistance in adding these and many more varieties, Oppy has experienced an impressive growth in volume from Australia over the last decade. "We are excited about the future and the opportunities it holds for us and our new grower-partners. We have only scratched the surface of what Australian citrus can offer, and we have no doubt these two varieties will certainly exceed expectations," Lopez said.

Both the Dekopon mandarin and seedless Daisy are available now in the Ocean Spray label in bulk and bags.

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