ATLANTA — Just in time for the holidays, shoppers can now add the Georgia citrus brand, Besties™ to their grocery lists. This month more than 1 million pounds of Georgia Grown satsuma mandarin oranges are going to market in major retailers including, Publix, Kroger, Walmart and Whole Foods.
“Georgia has a great history of branding agricultural commodities into household names,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “We are known just as much as the Vidalia® state as the peach, and we expect Besties™ to once again highlight farmers in Nature’s Favorite State doing what they do best, grow a wide a variety of food for consumers in our state and around the world.”
After a decade of research and planning, Georgia farmers and agricultural partners have successfully brought a widely available citrus product to the market. Today, over one hundred acres of satsumas are in production in South Georgia. Ripening mostly during warm, humid summers, satsuma trees can also withstand cold temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for Georgia’s climate. Satsumas are mostly seedless with a thin and leathery skin lightly attached around the fruit, making them easy to peel.
“We’re very excited to introduce Besties™ around the state,” said Eric Bolesta, sales manager at Corbett Brothers Farms located in Lake Park, GA. “We’ve received great response from major retailers, and as consumers get to know the brand and taste the fruit, we expect growing demand.” The Besties™ citrus brand is a product grown and packaged by the Grower Network, a collective of North American farmers working to create a year-round supply of citrus and vegetables for wholesalers and retailers across the country.
To learn more about Georgia’s newest citrus fruit, please visit bestiescitrus.com.
—Julie McPeake, Georgia Department of Agriculture