This week's fresh update

MAY 10, 2022 | Volume 8, Issue 70

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Conventional Vegetables

 

Asparagus

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This Week
Prices are going down primarily due to more availability from local growers and also the end of the Mother’s Day pull. We still have some standard, large and XL ready to load! Get with me for price and volume! 
Next Week 
Remember, this is the start of the Memorial Day pull so let us know what you need. Product is already in the water with fixed prices; call me so we can set some orders! 
Longer Term 
Let me know if you need to advance pricing. We have wiggle room to work with your accounts!
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

 

Bell Peppers

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California is producing steady volume, while North Florida still has new fields yet to be harvested. Expect markets to remain active until Georgia starts with volume. The weather in Georgia continues to be our favorite and we expect to see some growers to start harvesting by the end of next week. We are still holding our position to stay away from any promotions.
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Broccoli

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Price is starting to creep up on broccoli as volume availability tightens in the Southeast. Texas has plenty of volume available, as does California.
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Cabbage

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Cabbage will be in Georgia until about June 1st, but there will be some product available until about mid-June. North Carolina starts up in about 10 days and will go until sometime in August, depending on the weather. New York starts mid-July and will go through October, depending on the weather. Then we head back to Florida.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Celery supplies remain somewhat limited this week with quality reports from the Oxnard region still showing seeder pressure. Overall quality is fair with some reports of seeder ranging from 4-6 inches. Celery is currently available in Oxnard and Santa Maria. The weather forecast calls for average temperatures into the weekend with no rain in the forecast. Please reach out to your Robinson Fresh representative for updates and information regarding availability and promotions.
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Cucumbers

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Good availability in Florida and Nogales. Georgia is in full swing with production, and we don't see any disruptions for the next two weeks. Florida is still harvesting new fields, but the heat is starting to take a toll. We are noticing some issues with yellow bellies. Nogales continues to be in the mix as well.

 

Greens

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All varieties of greens have good supply. Quality is great!

 

Leaf Lettuce

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Iceberg and leaf lettuce supplies are meeting demand with Santa Maria and Salinas in good production. Quality is being reported as very good with no major issues. The weather forecast calls for average temperatures with no rain in the forecast. Please reach out to your Robinson Fresh representative for any additional information and promotional opportunities.
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Potatoes

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Conventional Potatoes
Our Florida new crop offerings have really opened up so please look for updated pricing on these items. Storage crops in the West are getting really tight but please reach out with your needs as we may have availability depending on current commitments. More good-quality storage crop is available from our Eastern U.S. and Canada locations so there could be some good opportunities for all our East Coast customers. Planting is well underway in many locations; so, please reach out for any last-minute contract growing requests and we will do our best to fit this into our planting schedule for the season. As with most produce items, prices are set to be at record highs this coming fall. To limit your exposure to erratic market pricing this season, we have opportunities for contract growing at fixed pricing; please ask your Robinson Fresh representative for more information. 
Onions
Reds are available from Texas and Florida; please ask about Mexico supply if this is needed. Yellows and whites are available as both storage crop and new crop out of Texas/Florida. Quality looks good on both; however, new crop, as always, is exceptional! Sweet onions are all storage crop from Washington. Please reach out for the latest pricing and availability.
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Squash

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Mexico is starting to call it quits for the season as demand has shifted to the East. Florida will probably harvest for another two weeks, while Georgia is performing on all cylinders. Weather has been outstanding, and this trend will continue. Good availability to promote for the next two weeks.
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Sweet Corn

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Both Florida and California are in good supplies this week but will be in a demand-exceeds-supply situation for the Memorial Day holiday pull.
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Conventional Fruits

 

Apples

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The apple market has leveled out this week and the prices are fairly stable on most items. I expect the prices to remain steady through May and then possibly start to push upward again around early June as inventory levels drop for this storage item. 

The overall crop is down this year with the total crop estimated to be around 118 million cases. This will make the second crop in a row that is smaller than normal and looks to be at least 3 million cases shorter than the crop last season. Most growers feel that the crop was hurt by the extreme heat and weather conditions that we experienced last summer. 

The tightest items this week are Honeycrisp and Gala apples. The quality of the fruit has been good so far, but we will need to see how the fruit holds up in storage as we begin to open the storage rooms later in the year. Pricing overall is running higher due to the shorter crop and overall inflation in the growing chain including labor, picking, packing, and transporting of apples. This is shaping up to be a challenging year, but we have a good grower base who will work with us to get through these challenges.

 

Avocados

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Avocado availability is strong and there is a good mix of sizing available. Mexico had a slight slowdown in production during the last week while California's volume increased. Many Southern California growers have finished picking for the season while growers in the Northern region still have fruit remaining to be harvested. Peru's volume is expected to increase during the coming weeks with the majority of the volume arriving to the East Coast.
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Bush Berries

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Blueberries
Mexico is still going strong along with California in pallet volumes this week, and load volumes next week. However, Florida and Southern Georgia are winding down quickly, with Northern Georgia being most affected by the freeze in March. Right now, field reports are that the East Coast will tighten on blueberries until North Carolina starts end of May/early June. 
Blackberries and Raspberries
Good volume on blackberries again this week with a small increase on raspberries as we transition to new districts. Good quality on both!

 

Cantaloupe

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Cantaloupe from Honduras and Guatemala are in light supply at all ports. Demand has not been strong, and markets continue to fall despite the light supply. Mexican cantaloupe are available out of Nogales and are also experiencing light demand. One domestic grower has had some availability due to growing under hoops and another is expected to start in Brawley toward the end of the week. Sizing in Brawley is expected to be small, and acreage is very light. There will be more growers coming on next week in Yuma and Phoenix, but domestic fruit will be light in supplies until the last week of May or first week of June, depending on weather.
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Citrus

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Oranges 
Navel Oranges
Fruit will be from the district 1 region (Fresno/Delano/Terra Bella/Bakersfield) of California for the primary shipping locations. Imports from South Africa and South America are scheduled to arrive to the U.S. in early July. There are limited supplies on navels as they are expected to wrap up in the middle/end of May, with larger growers hopeful of extending into the second week of June. The varieties currently are Late Lanes, Barnfields, and Powells. These will carry us through the end of the navel season. Quality is excellent with brix in the 12-14 range. We will see a slight green tinge on the ends of the oranges as late varieties are just getting underway; this will clean up in the coming weeks. Peak sizing will be 72/56/88s, in that order with minimal 113/138s around. We will not see any opportunity to promote for the remainder of the California season on navels as the demand far exceeds the supply, coupled in with the navel season ending roughly 3 to 4 weeks earlier with all growers (crop is down roughly 14% year over year). Market will be on a steady increase until the season wraps. 
Valencias Oranges
Fruit will be from the district 1 region (Fresno/Delano/Terra Bella/Bakersfield) of California for the primary shipping locations. There are no callouts on variety for Valencia oranges as Valencia is the variety. Valencias started 2 weeks ago with a few growers with most beginning harvest this week. Valencia oranges will go from May through the end of September. Typically, the Valencia season carries until new crop Navels begin, but this will be a challenge this year as shipping will start early to counteract the early end of the navel season. Quality is excellent with brix at an average of 12. The outer appearance is good and clean, but we will see a rougher, more pebbled skin on a Valencia compared to the smooth skin on a navel. Peak sizing of 88/72/113s, in that order. One callout is that the crop is down slightly from last year from the early crop estimates. Market will stay firm due to the high navel market.
Lemons
Lemons have fully transitioned from district 1 region (Fresno to Bakersfield) into the district 2 region (Filmore/Oxnard/Santa Paula). District 2 fruit began harvest a couple of weeks ago which will go through July. Peak sizing is 140/115/165 counts, in that order, with 60% fancy and 40% choice. District 1 fruit tends to be a lot cleaner in outer appearance when compared to the district 2 fruit. The reason for this is that the district 2 fruit is grown in the coastal region which can be impacted by winds. These winds ultimately scar the fruit, which will end up yielding more choice fruit. It is time to promote on lemons!! Volume is in abundant with supplies far exceeding demand allowing for aggressive promotions on certain sizing. With district 1 being at the tail end of the deal, the sizing on lemons is large. Deals will be in the 75- and 95-count sizing, with 140 count and smaller being tighter on supplies.
Grapefruit
Fruit will be out of the district 1 region (Bakersfield/Exeter) of California for the shipping locations. Grapefruit is expected to be tight all season (April through June) in California in the district 1 region with demand exceeding supplies. This is attributed to the Texas freeze we saw in February 2021 which greatly shortened the Texas grapefruit season. This shortage created more pressure on Florida to support a greater market share of the east and central parts of the United States. The weather impact shortened the Florida and Texas crops, which officially brought both regions to an end at the beginning of April, leaving California as the sole supplier. Quality on district 1 fruit is excellent with a 90% fancy/10% choice spilt. The brix range is 12 to 14. Interior is seeing a vibrant bright pink/red with the exterior seeing that touch of blush that consumers love. Despite the tight market on bigger sizes of 27 to 48 counts, there is opportunity to promote with the smaller sizes of 56 and 64 counts. 
Mandarins/Tangerines 
California mandarin crop will be wrapped up by middle of May, due to the crop being down roughly 25% year over year. The same goes for Moroccan fruit. We saw the last arrivals into the Northeastern ports April 29th, with shipping ending middle of May. Both growing regions are in the W. Murcott variety which is the cleanest and most flavorful variety. At the end of the season for these regions is when we will see the market and the mandarin deal get a little crazy. Middle of May we will transition into a Peruvian Primasole variety (first arrivals this week), which is very undesirable by retailers and consumers. The Primasole variety has a more yellow tint to the fruit and overall flavor and eating quality are poor. Although the fruit is not the best, it will serve its purpose this year which is to bridge the gap between the W. Murcott and the Clemenule variety out of Northern Chile. We expect this to be a small sizing crop this year out of Northern Chile due to the lack of water supply they are facing, with peaks being in the 32 to 40 sizes.

 

Grapes

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By mid-May, we typically see the import season winding down and transitioning to Mexican supplies. However, this year, delays in transit and terminal congestion have led to unusually heavy arrivals in May. Those volumes are likely to spill over into June and put pressure on early Mexican FOBs. Overall quality and condition of the remaining South American fruit will be inconsistent, adding more confusion to the general market. We will continue to see a wide range in pricing between fresh-packed Mexican fruit, quality import, and weaker lots through the balance of the month.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

 

Honeydew

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Offshore honeydew are available at all ports but in light volume. Northern Mexican fruit is currently shipping out of Nogales. Supplies have been relatively limited. Sizing has been an even split between 5/6 counts, while sugar and quality have been good on both offshore and Mexican honeydew. Domestic honeydew will start in a light way next week, with volume expected the first week of June.
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Region: Veracruz, Mexico 
Currently, the crop is peaking on 200/230/250s. There is some rain in the forecast; however, the growers are still very concerned about the lack of rain the past few months; parts of the region have started their dry season. 
The demand for limes has been moderate. According to the USDA, the crossings through Texas from last week were at 587; as of Monday, the report is showing 90 crossings from the weekend. Looking ahead, availability on large limes will continue to be low. Expect to see the market heavy on 200/230/250s for the next 4-6 weeks.

 

Mangos

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As we enter week 20, Oaxaca continues to pack but has been met with several challenges as we get closer to the end of the season. This region has been receiving rain which could delays harvest and affect quality; current harvest has been yielding larger sizing such as 7/8s, and very few 9/10s, making it challenging for program packs. Lastly, transportation in Oaxaca has decreased significantly and rates have been climbing; we expect this to continue until the end of this region’s season. We are expecting to see an overall decrease in volume in the next two weeks. Michoacan is fully transitioned over to Tommy's and sizing has shifted in the last week closer to a 9/10, followed by 8s and few 12's. With the understanding that Oaxaca's volume is declining, Michoacan has been holding field prices firm and trying to increase from last week.

 

Papaya

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The growing region of Colima continues to experience a bit warmer mornings in the mid-60s and warm days in the mid-80s with no rain. The warmer weather that we will see this week will help the crop to have better volume and harvesting will increase at the growing region. That means that there will a little bit more volume available for the second half of May. Though, last week there were a couple cold days during the week that delayed harvesting which lowered volumes for the beginning of this week, but supplies will remain consistent later this week and next. Historically, we see overall supply for papaya limited at the beginning the year due to weather conditions at the growing region. We are now expecting warmer weather with no rains at the growing region for the weeks to come. This will help on getting more volume in May. Supplies will increase this month with pallet/load availability in the market both in Texas and Tijuana. Please note that there will be plenty of papaya volume during the summer months from May-July.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

We have green Anjou shipping out of Washington State and Oregon currently. The Anjou pricing is very reasonable right now with deals on all sizes. Import Bartlett pears are arriving in the United States, and we are now starting to see import Bosc arriving in small quantities. The ocean container freight costs are much higher this year, so we are expecting higher prices on this imported fruit. With that said, availability and pricing are showing signs of coming down this week as more vessels arrive at East Coast ports.
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Pineapple

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Costa Rica’s rainy season is present in most areas of the country, but some areas of the Caribbean closer to the coast will remain somewhat dryer for the next few weeks. All growing areas close to the North Caribbean mountains will receive a significant amount of rainfall in the following weeks. Quality is reported as good but heavy downpours will severely affect the quality of the fruit, with water spotting expected along with lower brix due to high water saturation in the fruit. Harvest and transportation logistics may also get complicated in some areas. 
Weather in Veracruz, Mexico is forecast for cloudy skies in the early mornings, then partly cloudy with highs around 90 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. NE winds are expected, shifting to SSE at 10 to 20 miles per hour. 
Mexico's inbound volume increased significantly for week 18 at slightly over 90 containers crossing reported by USDA into the USA. Robinson Fresh inbound volume out of Mexico is expected to be at +/- 15 loads crossing next week. Quality is reported as very good with good internal condition and higher brix. Yields are still lower on small-count fruit, with the curve leaning more toward 6s and 7s. The USDA pineapple crossing report for week 18 shows a significant increase at just above 1,300 loads crossing for the entire continental USA. The USDA is reporting demand as good and market about steady.

 

Strawberries

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Santa Maria, California is producing good numbers and Salinas/Watsonville, California will continue to increase its volume. Oxnard should finish its season by mid-May. Santa Maria, California is forecast on Wednesday to be mostly sunny and breezy, Thursday will be windier and warmer, Friday through the weekend will be sunny and breezy. Highs on Wednesday and Thursday will be in the 60s, increasing to the 70s on Friday and the 80s on Saturday, and then decreasing to the 70s on Sunday with lows in the 40s on Wednesday and Thursday, increasing to the 50s for the balance of the week. Watsonville, California is forecast on Wednesday to be partly sunny with a breezy afternoon, mostly sunny Thursday, and Friday, and mostly sunny and very warm on Saturday, and partly sunny Sunday. Highs in the 60s Wednesday and Thursday, increasing to the 70s Friday, 80s on Saturday, and then decreasing to the 70s on Sunday and lows in the 40s Wednesday and Thursday, increasing to the 70s on Friday and then the 80s on Saturday, and then decreasing to the 70s on Sunday. California fruit is generally good quality and size and may be subject to occasional bruising, misshapen, green tips and shoulders, wind damage and bronzing, and discolored calyx.
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Watermelon

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Supplies on seedless are good. Minis are still a little tight. Supplies will be good for the next couple of weeks, and they will get a bit tight for the holiday pull. Florida is going with good supplies from Southern Florida. North Florida is starting in a light way. Out West, Northern Mexico is picking up in volume. Our quality has been very good. May will be a good month to promote seedless watermelons.
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Organic Fruits & Vegetables

 

Organic Apples

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We are now shipping organic apples from Washington State that include organic Honeycrisp, Galas, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Fuji apples along with other less popular varieties. So far, the quality is holding up on all organics as the growers are doing a nice job of sorting out any issues at the packing sheds. The pricing is higher than last season on all varieties as demand for organics continues to rise each year and the overall crop is down this season. This year, the organic Gala crop is down significantly, and the price is expected to be around 20% to 40% higher than last season. The other varieties are also down in supply and will see prices rising significantly this year as we get into the summer. The organic Pink Lady crop out of Washington will probably wrap up first as many growers will finish for the season by June which will leave just one or two growers with fruit into the summer. Also playing a part in the higher costs is the inflationary pressures on harvesting costs, packing costs, and transportation increases. Imported organic Galas have begun to arrive and they will be followed by organic Granny Smiths in late-May. Supplies out of Chile look adequate but pricing will also be higher this season due to strong demand, high ocean freight, and overall inflationary cost increases across the supply chain.
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Organic Dry Vegetables

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Weather is warming up so we can expect some changes this week. Cucumbers have volume deals while Zucchini is limited, and yellow squash is out. Green beans are available every day with volume deals. Eggplant has volume every day and increasing. Spaghetti squash and acorn squash have volume in small sizes while Kabocha has a new crop. Colored bell peppers are done for the season, and a new crop of hot peppers are starting this week.
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Organic Melons

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Our organic minis have started from Northern Mexico and the quality is excellent! We will have good supplies for the next few weeks.
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Organic Onions

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Texas onions are still going but supply is drying up fast. There seems to only be yellow onions left at this point. The market is active on these and the price is reflective of this. There are still a few yellow onions out of Oregon, and California will be starting soon.
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Organic Pears

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Organic Anjou and Bartletts are available in the marketplace. Organic Anjou are available out of Washington State right now with limited supplies as we approach the end of the domestic season. Organic Bartletts are now being imported to the East Coast from Argentina and Chile. Supplies are decent right now as we are well into the season at this point. Prices are reasonable for both of these items this week.
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Organic Potatoes

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The organic potato market is starting to get stronger in price with supply starting to tighten some. Colorado red and yellow potatoes have finished for the season, but Russets are still available. New-crop red and yellow potatoes are now available out of Arizona and California. Market is strong on these and, so far, quality is looking very good. Our fingerling program is still going strong, and we should see supply available through May.
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Organic Squash

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Winter squash is still available out of Nogales, but butternut has tightened up as supply seems to be slowing down. Spaghetti and acorn are still available.
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Organic Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes are still doing well. Quality is outstanding out of California and the supply is still strong. The varieties that are starting to get a little tighter are the Japanese and purples. Beauregards, Jewels, and whites are still plentiful.
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Transportation

Refrigerated Truckload 
Refrigerated truckload has all the same market pressures of labor and asset supply but has some interesting demand influencers worthy of note. 
Produce Season 2022 
The produce season has begun, and we are anticipating a decline in pounds shipped, primarily due to inflation. This stress in demand is a result of the increased costs in freight and production being passed through to buyers/retailers. There will be fewer promotional ads in the retail space which will also decrease the number of truckload shipments in typically strained produce markets and increase available capacity while decreasing freight rates. The market anticipates less demand this year which, in theory, will require less capacity from the marketplace when compared to recent years. 

Connect with a temperature-controlled expert to learn more about how seasonal and supply imbalances affect your business and how our unique transportation procurement and capacity solutions can help your shipping strategy in the short and long runs.

 
 
 
 
 

Perishable Ocean Container Transportation
Overall capacity is affected by ongoing port congestion in many trade lanes. Vessels are oftentimes oversold, delayed back to their origin, missing scheduled port calls/stops, and unable to handle the volume of containers at destination. Schedule reliability and operational constraints (recurring 4+ days delay) are expected to continue. Finding space on board vessels, chassis availability, increased surcharges by the shipping lines, and labor shortages in logistics continue to impact the global produce logistics sector. 

For more global freight insights, please visit Global Freight Market Insights | C.H. Robinson (chrobinson.com).

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Fresh from the kitchen

DIY CITRUS ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER

Brighten up your home the best way possible with a fresh-smelling, citrus cleaner that really cleans. Create your favorite combination for even better results.

Ingredients
  • Select Robinson Fresh citrus fruit. Choose your favorite-scented fruit like navel oranges, lemons, pink grapefruit, and Minneola Tangelos.
  • Vinegar

Instructions

  1. Carefully cut away and save the peels—eat or juice the remaining fruit.
  2. Fill glass jar with peels.
  3. Pour in vinegar to cover the peels.
  4. Let stand 2–3 weeks.
  5. Strain so only liquid remains.
  6. Fill the spray bottle halfway full with the citrus/vinegar solution.
    Fill the rest of the spray bottle with water to dilute.

Link here for additional information.

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