There were oranges. Lots and lots of oranges Friday at the Levittown Walmart in Tullytown.
Walmart, the South African government and that country’s citrus farmers association visited the area to celebrate the local consumers who purchase the foreign-grown oranges and clementines sold in Walmart stores when American citrus crops are out of season.
Walmart’s Director of Global Food Sourcing Don Fox and CEO of Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum Suhanra Conradie both spoke of the long-term program which brings about 40 million tons of South African-grown citrus fruits to the United States every year. Walmart orders about 15 percent of those imports, the company touts.
The sale of the fruits across America helps supports a network of 1,500 farmers with over 130,000 workers in South Africa every year. Walmart
Gugulethu Gingqi, Consul for Trade Affairs for the South African Consulate in New York, told the gathered crowd the citrus crop is the “pride of South Africa.”
Levittown Walmart customers seemed happy to take part in the event and many walked away with free South African oranges.
“Next to Spain, South Africa is the second largest exporter of citrus in the world, producing 60 percent of all citrus fruits grown in the Southern Hemisphere,” according to information distributed by the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum.
Over the next few weeks, a series of demonstrations and citrus tastings will be held at local Walmart stores. Click here for more.