PepsiCo said it decided to transition to 100% Florida orange juice for Tropicana Pure “some months ago”

PepsiCo said it decided to transition to 100% Florida orange juice for Tropicana Pure “some months ago”

PepsiCo has said it is returning to using only oranges from Florida in its Tropicana Pure Premium juices amid concern about a banned fungicide found in juice sourced from Brazil.

A spokesperson for PepsiCo told just-drinks this week that it had made a decision to transition to 100% Florida orange juice "some months ago", before low levels of the fungicide carbendazim were found in oranges from Brazil, earlier this month.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspended shipments of imported orange juice after The Coca-Cola Co found the fungicide in its supplies. The watchdog is carrying out tests for carbendazim, which is used legally in Brazil to combat an orange tree mould called black spot, but banned in the US.

"This transition to production for Tropicana Pure Premium is well under way and will be completed by the end of the month," the spokesperson said. "As the largest buyer of Florida oranges, this is a minor supply chain adjustment."

The spokesperson added that PepsiCo had found traces of the fungicide in its juice shipments from Brazil, but that they were "below the levels the agencies said raise safety concerns".

Last week, Coca-Cola said it had contacted the FDA after having found low levels of the fungicide in its juices. The Simply Orange and Minute Maid juice maker, did not say which brands had shown the fungicide. However, in a statement today, the company confirmed that it sources "a significant amount" of its orange juice for the US from Florida.

"Going forward, we will continue to buy the finest oranges available anywhere to create ... 100% safe juices that consumers expect from Simply and Minute Maid," the spokesperson said. "We rigorously test all our ingredients using state-of-the-art methods to ensure that they meet our safety and quality standards. And, we are always 100% transparent with consumers and regulatory authorities."

Florida produces around 75% of US orange juice concentrate supplies.