#RealOranges at gebana
We have been delivering real oranges from Greece to our customers since 2020. Find out on this page what we mean by "real oranges," how they are different from normal oranges and how all of this affects family farmers.
What are real oranges?
Real oranges are big, small, scarred, misshapen, perfect, speckled, dark orange and sometimes even green.
Green oranges? That's right! The colour of an orange has nothing to do with its ripeness. The juice content and the taste are all that matter. The orange colour from which the fruit gets its name only develops if the temperature in the fields falls below 13 degrees Celsius at night. This is why oranges in countries near the equator never turn orange.
In other words, real oranges bring us all the diversity that nature has to offer. It's just like picking the fruit off the trees ourselves.
Why aren't there any real oranges in supermarkets?
The food industry today is so geared toward efficiency that it treats oranges the same way a hardware store treats screws. They are all identical, interchangeable, and exactly how consumers supposedly want them. Retailers secured the support of the EU many years ago to ensure that the system would always work.
Regulation EC no. 543/2011 is one example. This regulation imposes requirements on the appearance of oranges for sale to consumers. The fruits must be orange, intact, free of bruises or scars, and at least 53 millimetres in diameter.
Our video about these normal oranges shows you all the things that exporters do to the fruits so that they comply with as many of the standards as possible.
How does all this affect family farmers?
In the past, the family farmers we work with had to weed out up to 35 per cent of their harvest per season because it did not meet these standards.
The producers were only able to sell the rejected oranges on the local market or to the juice industry. But they get a fraction of the price of table oranges for juicing oranges. This represents a massive loss.
So in 2019, we decided to take a stand against the madness. The intent behind our petition and campaign to liberate the illegal oranges was to obtain an exemption, or even deliberately break these senseless rules. But in the end, we didn't have to go that far. The EU pointed out an exception defined in their own regulations that we could reinterpret for our own purposes.
The magic words: for processing only. Fruits that are officially intended for processing can look any way they please. The only condition is that the boxes be labelled: for processing only.
So are real oranges better than normal ones?
They most definitely are. Real oranges make a huge difference to the incomes of family farmers. On average, thanks to the real oranges and our gebana model, they earn around three times as much as they would if they sold their fruit to retailers.
As far as we're concerned, the real oranges are a true delight. We can finally enjoy all the diversity that nature has to offer. So whatever happened to "that's how consumers want them”? Right from the first year, enthusiastic customers sent us a deluge of photos of their deliveries.
Take a look for yourself.
Where can I get real oranges?
Real oranges are available every year in our online shop. There are four delivery dates each season, three in winter and one in summer. During the off season, you can request to be notified as soon as the oranges can be ordered again.
The family farmers are looking forward to your orders.