Citrus lovers can look forward to a juicy start to winter, as Coles stores at Bunbury, South Bunbury and Bunbury Forum celebrate locally-grown citrus varieties in store with Citrus Fest this month.
More than 75,000 kilos of the nutritious treats were consumed last year with navel oranges proving to be the most popular of the lot with Bunbury shoppers.
Family-owned business Harvey Citrus has supplied to Coles for more than 32 years and this year will provide all supermarkets across the state with fruit for Citrus Fest.
Harvey Citrus farm manager Andrew Pergoliti is a second generation citrus grower who loves shining a light on home grown mandarins, oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes.
Mr Pergoliti said Citrus Fest is all about encouraging West Australians to support local growers.
“Customers love locally-grown produce, and citrus grown in Western Australia is arguably some of the best in the world,” Mr Pergoliti said.
He said even though there are a lot of exotic new citrus varieties, mandarins still remain a firm favourite among West Australians.
“Mandarins have become increasingly popular with customers in recent years. The easy peel mandarins are convenient to eat, come in a good size and are a healthy option for the kid’s lunchboxes,” he said.
“Imperial mandarins would have to be my favourite variety of citrus. I grew up on them as a kid and I think they are the tastiest mandarin of the lot, so I always eat a bucket load of them.”
Harvey Citrus was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund in 2015 to expand its farm and invest in its equipment to provide WA customers with citrus for more months of the year.
As part of Citrus Fest, free in-store sampling and creative displays at Coles supermarkets across WA will give locals the opportunity to taste different varieties of citrus.