Come Chinese New Year, we would buy a box of Mandarin oranges. NTUC Fairprice promotes these oranges from different suppliers. In the past, we would pick up a box and carried it home. Mandarin oranges were brought along when we visited our relatives and friends. Oranges represent prosperity and good luck for the recipients.
This year will be different. Instead of buying a box of oranges, we bought loose ones from fruit sellers. We bought just sufficient for the purpose of visiting homes with these oranges. In the tradition of Chinese New Year practices, we exchange oranges with the people we are visiting to signify there is a giving and a receiving, a balanced and a flow of goodwill (and fortunes too). Therefore there is no necessity to buy more oranges on the fear of insufficient quantity. Furthermore, oranges do not keep well. It would be a waste of oranges if these go uneaten.
Based on anecdotal accounts, it appears that the sale of Mandarin oranges for this year is slow. There is no usual frenzy of the past. It may be that some people are buying boxes of oranges on-line for delivery to their doorsteps. Our neighbourhood fruit seller was telling us that he dared not bring in more oranges. He said that some sellers were burnt with excess stocks in the past.
We are also doing our parts to cut back on wastage. This is one way among many others to reduce waste of fruit items. Buy enough for the purpose.