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Blood orange orchard tipped to fetch $3.5m

October 21, 2018

The Redbelly blood orange orchard is up for sale. Photo: Steven Siewert

The Mancini family has put Australia’s largest blood orange orchard on the market with expectations of achieving a sale price of $3.5 million.

Vito Mancini, a third generation citrus grower, and his cousins Anthony and Vito own and operate Redbelly Citrus in Nericon, north of Griffith, in the NSW Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

The 40-hectare property on two farms has 24,600 trees planted across 24 hectares with an additional 6.7 hectares available for planting.

The cousins started the business in 2005 after looking for something “novel and niche” because they felt they could not compete with the big established citrus growers.

After exploring almonds, pomegranates and figs, Vito decided on blood oranges – with their distinctive crimson flesh – taking inspiration from his Sicilian grandfather.

“One thing I remembered was that my grandfather always had blood oranges on his tree,” Vito Mancini told The Weekly Times in 2017.

Redbelly Citrus produces about 700 tonnes of fruit a year, having produced just 50 tonnes in the first harvest in 2010. The fruit is sold locally and exported.

The Mancinis have decided to sell both the orchards and the Redbelly Citrus brand with CBRE Agribusiness directors Chris Holgar and Col Medway appointed as marketing agents.

The offering includes 175 megalitres of high-security water entitlements

Mr Medway said the Redbelly orchards were in full production and ready for the new owners to capitalise on the established Redbelly Citrus brand.

“The brand boasts a proven track record of achieving market premiums and solid export market awareness,” he said.

“Redbelly fruit is generally oversubscribed, with the majority exported to US and Asian markets. On average, premium grade harvests achieve more than $3,000 per tonne.”

Mr Holgar said disease and production issues in Brazil had led to the resurgence of the Australian citrus industry, sparking significant investment in new plantings across the Murrumbidgee and Murray River valleys.

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