Oranges, oranges, everywhere.

We’ve recently rescued hundreds and hundreds of oranges from a grower in Egypt – all because they were “too small” or “too odd” for UK supermarkets.

Oddbox image

To save on cardboard, we also encouraged our grower to use giant crates instead of lots of mini ones – which means some of the little fellas at the bottom have arrived looking a bit bashed and bruised. It’s been quite the journey, as Gavin from our Sourcing team explains.


O: Hi Gavin! Tell us about these oranges then – where are they from, what kind of variety are they and how do they taste?


G: These are Valencia oranges from Nuba Farms in Alexandria, Egypt. Valencia is one of the most commonly grown citrus varieties because of its great flavour and the fact it can hold up well in many climates. Although they’re particularly good for juicing, Valencia oranges are also great as a healthy snack or in salads, baking or cooking.


O: They sound delicious! So why were they in need of rescuing?


G: You might have noticed that these oranges are on the small side, which is particularly difficult for growers to find an outlet for. UK supermarkets won't take this size fruit, for example. Some oranges are a bit on the scruffy side too, with cosmetic defects on their skin. Because we don’t mind what fruit looks like, we allow our producers to pack them all together – small and scruffy – which is super efficient for them.


O: Can you tell us more about how they were transported and what this means for the fruit?


G: These oranges were transported in a giant cardboard container, which saves a significant amount of cardboard compared to smaller individual boxes. Each container can fit up to 600kg of fruit – as a result, some of the little fellas on the bottom have been a bit squished along the journey. So they might be a little wonky on the outside, but they should still taste just as good.


O: How does your team make sure they’re still tasty on the inside?


G: We manage all our stock on a rotational basis, according to First In First Out rules and have set guidelines around how long we want to keep our oranges on site for. Our amazing Quality team performs checks when the oranges arrive into our packing site, and at regular intervals up to and including when they're packed into our Oddboxes. So they should taste tip top, even if they do look a bit ugly!


O: Any favourite orange recipes or tips you could share?


G: Whenever I have too many oranges, I either make a massive jug of fresh orange juice or I make marmalade – not as tricky as you might think! I also love orange cakes, if you’re offering…


O: Thanks for giving us the squeeze on this rescue story, Gavin. You’re the zest.

Unpacked “too small”, “too odd” or “too scruffy” oranges? Not sure whether to slice, squeeze or freeze? Check out our socials for lots of tips – including making candied orange peel. Or give our vegan Orange Zest and Pear Hot Cross Buns a spin for a zingy twist on a classic. Orange and out.