The Juice Company That Buys A Third Of All Of Florida's Oranges

If there's some type of magic that makes Florida oranges better than anywhere else, juice companies must know it. Oranges have thrived in Florida since the first tree was planted in mid-1500s St. Augustine, and for good reason — the southern state has a large amount of rainfall, a climate rivaling the tropics, and of course, tons of sunshine (per Florida Orange Juice).

Due to similar factors, California is another place oranges grow abundantly, though there are distinct differences in the fruit from both areas. Per Hale Groves, the hot and humid weather in Florida makes oranges from the state sweeter and juicier. Florida also produces easy-to-peel navel oranges, which are among the most popular type available. Valencia oranges are great for making juice, and they first grew in Southern California in the 19th century. Now, they grow and prosper in both the climates of California and Florida. Undoubtedly, Florida is one of the best places to scoop up oranges, which is why one brand gets a third of this fruit directly from The Sunshine State.

The rest of the company's oranges come from Brazil

Oranges from Florida are delicious, and one juice-producing company is so aware of the fact that it swipes up a huge percentage of the state's haul. According to Tropicana, the brand is not only the number one buyer of oranges from Florida. It actually buys one-third of all oranges grown in the state. As the website explains, this choice is due to Tropicana's close relationship with Florida farmers, though when the supply isn't high enough to meet the demand, the company turns to Brazil to fulfill the rest of its needs. To guarantee high quality, Tropicana "monitor[s] more than 400 Florida groves through a proprietary system that ensures oranges are harvested at their peak goodness and flavor."

For best results, it's important that oranges are picked at the perfect time. According to Gardening Know How, a smell test is a great way to determine their readiness, as you want to choose oranges with sweet, fresh, and citrusy aromas and not ones with mold or fungus. The most popular variety of orange, the navel, can typically be harvested from November to June.