מנדרינות אורי: טעם מתוק ליצוא הישראלי
המוצר: זן מושבח של מנדרינות
המפתחים: פרופ' פנחס שפיגל-רואי ז"ל, ד"ר עליזה ורדי ז"ל
החברה: מנהל המחקר החקלאי, מרכז וולקני תחילת הפיתוח: 1980
Product: A Choice Variety of Mandarin Developers: Prof. Pinchas Spiegel-Roy, Dr. Aliza Vardi Company: Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center Start of Development: 1980
If Israeli exports in the 20th century were colored orange by the famous “Jaffa” citrus fruit, the color of the 21st century is definitely "Orri" mandarin.
Israel’s love affair with the citrus industry began even before the establishment of the State, with the discovery in the mid-19th century of a mutation of the local "Baladi" Orange, named the “Shamouti”. The “Shamouti” orange became an important export, dominating the Israeli citrus industry for more than 100 years, and becoming the precursor of the successful “Jaffa” brand-name.
By the mid 1970s, Israeli citrus growing had become a significant economic factor and, despite its modest size, Israel was regarded as an important global player. The research conducted during this period at the Volcani Center and at the Hebrew University’s Agricultural Faculty produced many significant findings and developments.
Worldwide trends, coupled with changes in consumer behavior, led to a marked decline in the Israeli citrus industry in the 1970s, to such an extent that concern existed regarding its very survival. This situation prompted the industry leaders to establish an enhancement program for new varieties, led by Prof. Pinchas Spiegel-Roy and Dr. Aliza Vardi and located at the Volcani Center.
In keeping with market demands, the program focused on developing new, easy-to-peel, high-quality, seedless mandarins. One of the first varieties developed was the "Orri" – a mandarin of exquisite taste but containing many seeds – which was improved in 1987 to the seedless "Orri" Mandarin, subsequently crowned as one of the world’s best and tastiest varieties of mandarin.
Planting of "Orri" mandarin trees has expanded and today there are approximately 52 thousand dunams throughout the country out of a total citrus plantation of 182 thousand dunams. 102 thousand tons of "Orri" mandarins were exported during 2017, comprising the central component of Israel’s citrus exports.
The “Orri” was patented in the United States in 2004 and in the EU in 2013. International royalties have generated hundreds of millions of dollars for growers over the last 15 years and at the pinnacle of its success, the profit-per-grower stood at 15 thousand shekels per dunam.