Why does Mercadona sell oranges and mandarins from abroad?

by Lorraine Williamson


We have become used to it. All year round, we can buy non-seasonal produce in the supermarket too. Even in Spain. An example are oranges or mandarins. Although these are typical for Spain, they are not produced 365 days a year in Spain.  

Mercadona is one of the supermarkets that sells citrus fruits of Spanish origin, but also imports them from other countries. And that caught the eye of a customer, who tweeted about this. She bought mandarins of South African origin and wanted to know why they do not come from Spain.  

Mandarins from South Africa

“I am from Valencia, region of oranges, can you explain to me what this is?” she asked on the social network, where she showed a picture of a kilo bag of mandarins of the Nadorcott variety, but the label says they are from South Africa.  

Mercadona responded to the tweet. In response, Mercadona explained that they only import oranges and mandarins ‘from about mid-August to about November, once we have used up the production volume of the national season’.  

Seasonal produce from Spain

The company also adds that ‘like every year, when the Spanish season starts in November and until about August, we have 100% national mandarins and oranges, coming from different autonomous regions’.  

Cogesa Expats

For last year’s season, the Valencian chain had announced it would buy up to 200,000 tonnes of oranges, mandarins, lemons and grapefruits of Spanish origin, which consumers could find in supermarkets from November in two formats: in bulk and in nets.  

As Mercadona pointed out in a press release at the time, the various citrus fruits on offer come from the following areas:

  • Valencian Community
  • Andalucia
  • Murcia region
  • Catalonia
  • Canary Islands

Furthermore, they are mainly supplied by national suppliers, working with more than 2,500 growers across Spain. 

Also read: Seville oranges fit for a Queen


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