Israeli government and Citrus Marketing Board look to follow Outspan move Israel's citrus industry is exploring the possibility of offering other growers the use of its famous Jaffa brand. The move would follow the steps already taken by Capespan whose Outspan label now appears on Florida grapefruit, and Spanish and Turkish oranges. Zvi Alon, senior foreign trade deputy director general, said the government and the Citrus Marketing Board of Israel, which is keen to extend the brand, were discussing the possibility. CMBI already licenses Israeli exporters to use the Jaffa label. It would be up to these companies to find interested applicants who would pay a royalty for the privilege. Alon said the target would probably be citrus suppliers in South Africa or South America, complementing Jaffa's winter range which extends over six months. But he stressed participants would have to show they practised similar quality standards. There was no intention of flooding the market ­ which could debilitate the reputation of the 50 year old brand, said Alon. Qualitative consumer research in the UK released by Mehadrin, the country's largest packer/exporter, found that the Jaffa brand was highly regarded by consumers who want to buy it year round. But they had little awareness of its source, and were ignorant about orange varieties, although these can differ widely. "The Jaffa appeal is in the strong colour, taste and peelability," said Mark Player, commercial director of Munoz Mehadrin (UK). He said Mehadrin in Israel itself had no plans to apply for an extension of the brand, although it was also the sales arm for one of Spain's largest citrus growers. "We want to use the research findings as a marketing tool to convince retailers that they are missing an opportunity if they do not stock Jaffa fruit," he added. "Consumers want to see a stronger identity on the shelf and have told us they are prepared to pay a premium." {{M/E FRESH PRODUCE }}