Woolworths WA has committed to supplying solely homegrown oranges after an exclusive arrangement was made with the local $40 million citrus industry. WA Citrus Industry development manager Bronwyn Walsh said supplies of high-quality oranges and mandarins from local orchards from Moora and Dandaragan to Harvey were now reaching the marketplace in Woolworths stores and will be available until December. She said because of the steady growth of the industry during the past 15 years, which produces more than 23 tonnes of citrus a year, for the first time this season WA citrus orchards expect to have the volume of fruit to supply exclusively to Woolworths supermarkets across the State. “Getting to this point, where we can supply sufficient WA grown oranges to fill WA shelves, has been a long term industry goal,” Ms Walsh said. “It requires dedication from many sectors to get premium citrus to consumers. “Growers put a lot of work into producing excellent quality fruit, then packing facilities and marketers bring together the fruit for the final presentation by retailers.” She said having the support of a major chain like Woolworths commit to exclusively stock local oranges was testimony to the efforts of all involved in the supply chain, particularly the work of Northern Valley Packers which lead the initiative. “This is a fantastic opportunity for industry to work collaboratively with Woolworths to provide what we know is the fruit of choice of WA shoppers and households to stay healthy over winter,” Ms Walsh said. Woolworths WA Fruit and Veg operations manager Rosalind Smith said the company had an Australian First Fresh Sourcing Policy and know from market research that shoppers favour locally grown fruit and veg. “While we always source WA citrus, the hard work of our WA citrus growers has made it possible for us to offer our customers across the State a consistent supply of exclusively WA-grown oranges for the first time this season,” Ms Smith said. State Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis launched the 2023 WA citrus season on Friday, May 26, at a time when the value of WA citrus production has doubled in the past eight years. More than 1000 hectares is now grown from the West Midlands through to Harvey, with smaller areas located at Manjimup, Carnarvon and Kununurra. Ms Jarvis said she was excited about the 2023 WA citrus season, with the work done by the WA citrus industry and Northern Valley Packers, negotiating with Woolworths to only stock WA oranges in its stores when available. “This industry’s growth has been impressive, reinforced by supply chain collaboration and a clear direction for the future guided by a new WA Citrus Strategic Plan,” Ms Jarvis said. “Our Government is committed to helping the WA citrus industry to realise its potential by supporting research and development on the ground, as well as exploring opportunities through inbound and outbound trade delegations to generate ongoing benefits to the economy and communities.” Close to 90 per cent of local production is consumed in WA via local retailers, with the remainder exported to key markets in Asia. Most WA oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, lemons and limes are produced within a 250 kilometre radius of Perth, as well as red flesh grapefruit and limes also come from the Gascoyne and Ord River Irrigation Areas.