Orange plants have a lifetime of about 40 years. The first crop is made after 4 years. Approx. 5 litres of juice can be gained from the fruit of one tree. After 15 years, the tree has reached its full size and it produces about 1500 oranges every year. This equates to approx. 150 litres of juice. Oranges must ripen on the plant and may not, unlike bananas, be harvested in an unripe state because they don’t mature anymore after being harvested.
Due to the fact that the orange plant simultaneously blossoms and carries mature and unripe fruits, the harvest is still done manually. One picker needs about one hour to harvest an orange tree. The fruit is collected in plastic baskets, then packed and stored, until it is picked up by trucks within 24 hours and brought to the straining plant.