The USA is recognized as the second largest citrus importer in the world. Taking into account the financial impact of the Florida citrus industry upon the economy of the country in general, the recent decline in crops and increase in the prices box, more attention should be paid to the strategies of restoring the industry.
The disproportional distribution of citrus industry throughout the world can be explained with the climate conditions of particular regions which are not always appropriate for cultivating citrus trees. The native tree was carried by men to different countries from Orient, but it not always can adapt to the climate conditions of new countries (McGovern 342). Columbus is believed to bring the first citrus seeds to Americas.
When the early settlers came to Florida, they found wild citrus tress all over the territory of the state. The production of citrus reached more than 5 million boxes a year before the Great Freeze of 1894-95 killed the greatest part of these trees (McGovern 342). However, by the years 1909-10, the citrus industry has been restored to the same level. In 1930s Florida produced about 46% of the country’s citrus production. “In 1980-81 the Sunshine State was producing 61.9 percent of the nation’s supply” (McGovern 342).
After the freezes and break of citrus canker disease in 1980s, most citrus trees were replaced to the south Florida for taking advantage of its warmer climate. Disregarding all the challenges of the citrus industry, by 2000s Florida produced about 80 percent of citrus for the USA, one of the world’s leading importers which is second only to Brazil.
Florida citrus industry has been developing and changing within the course of time. For instance, prior to 1940s, consumers could get orange and grapefruit juices by squeezing the fresh fruit by themselves or from canned juice.
In 1940 in their attempt to create a product which would have the same qualities as fresh juice, but will not spoil too quickly, the Florida Citrus Commission and the United States Department of Agriculture created a type of frozen concentrated juice for the purpose of supplying it to the European allies during the Second World War.
The invention of concentrate became a significant even in the history of citrus industry because its convenience appealed to many families and accelerated the development of the citrus market in general.
With the growing demands for the concentrate, the question of processing the fruit arose and required improving the processes and technologies. Prior to 1980 Minute Braid and Tropicana remained the major US orange juice brands. “Proctor and Gamble (P&G) evaluated this situation and determined that there was an opportunity for a third major branded marketer” (Morris “The US Orange and Grapefruit Juice Markets: History, development, Growth, and Change”).
However, after the invention of not-from-concentrate juice, the number of brands has grown. In general, it can be concluded that consumers always looked for convenience and quality product, causing the growth of the market, using new sorts of citrus and creating new sorts of juice.
Disregarding the fact that the USA is recognized as the world’s second supplier of citrus, the national industry has a number of problems. Thus, according to data from 2009-10, the overall citrus production in the USA with 159.3 million boxes of citrus was decreased by 16 percent as compared to the production in the previous year (“Citrus Summary 2009-10”).
However, “the $1.054 billion preliminary value of the 2009-2010 citrus crop is 1 percent greater than the revised value of $1.047 billion for 2008-2009” (“Citrus Summary 2009-10”). These facts demonstrate the growth in the price box for all sorts of citrus which depends upon a number of micro and macro economical factors. For example, the tariff for the juice exported from Brazil of $0.29 per pound decreases the effectiveness of operations and competitiveness of Florida citrus industry (National Research Council).
Eliminating these tariffs could be helpful for developing the sector of the market. Between 1998 and 2008, the Florida citrus industry had to face the challenges from diseases, disasters and changes in the marketplace. Thus, after the citrus crop was battered by hurricanes, citrus canker and citrus greening, the US citrus production has decreased significantly, raising the prices for the products at the same time.
At the same time, the production base of the Florida citrus industry has been eroded through reduction of the number of orange trees. The expected results of the diseases, including citrus canker and citrus greening as the most widely spread of them can reduce the crop of the fruit per tree. Unfortunately, even after the citrus crops started recovering, the before-crisis prices were not restored, having a negative impact upon the consumption.
Taking into account the present day problems in Florida citrus industry, appropriate measures need to be imposed for the purpose of restoring the production base and improving the competitiveness of the growers.
For example, further research and development is required in the sphere of developing the appropriate methods for struggling against the infections and insects combating the citrus crop. For example, the integrated pest management programs were offered as an effective solution for the problem of particular infections (Boucias, McCoy, and Samson 518).
However, this approach requires a complex approach and taking into consideration various factors which can have impact upon the production base. Along with hurricanes and other disasters which can hardly be prevented, there are a number of factors which can be affected by men. The environment, ground waters and corresponding water management can be regulated through developing and implementing the appropriate strategies.
In that regard, a number of statutes and administrative rules can have impact upon the water supply and citrus crop. “The Florida Water Resources Act of 1972 was enacted following a severe drought in 1971 as part of a package of major environmental and land use bills” (Olexa, Boman and Hall . “Environmental Acts and Regulatory Agencies Affecting Citrus Groves in Florida”).
Though the administrative rules are effective for preserving and distributing resources in a proper way, the appropriate measures need to be imposed for managing water resources with the minimum damage to environment and the maximum benefits to the citrus crop. Another domain of challenges for the Florida citrus industry is the processing and packaging of the crop.
“The real challenge for fresh fruit handlers and postharvest technologies is to retain or even enhance the ‘garden-fresh’ characteristics of the fruit” (Ladaniya 6). Thus, the successful restoration of the Florida citrus industry requires taking into account the peculiarities of the citrus product, environmental and economical factors.
As it can be seen from the aforementioned data, Florida citrus industry plays an important role not only in the economy of the USA, but also the citrus market of the world. For this reason, appropriate measures need to be imposed for restoring the industry by means of struggling against the diseases and insects, using effective water management strategies, predicting the hurricanes and considering the economic factors.
Boucias, Andrew, Clayton McCoy, and Robert Samson. Pathogens Infecting Insects and Mites of Citrus. Winter Park: LLC Friends of Microbes, 2009.
“Citrus Summary 2009-10”. National Agricultural Statistics Service 23 Sept. 2010. Web. 17 March 2011.
Ladaniya, Milinda. Citrus Fruit: Biology, Technology and Evaluation. London: Academic Press, 2008. 518
McGovern, Bernie. Florida Almanac 2007-2008. Gretna: Pelican Publishing Industry, 2008. Print.
Morris, Robert. “The US Orange and Grapefruit Juice Markets: History, development, Growth, and Change”. University of Florida IFAS Extension n.d. Web. 17 March 2011.
National Research Council. Strategic Planning for the Florida Citrus Industry: Addressing Citrus Greening Disease. Washington: The National Academic Press, 2010. Print.
Olexa, Michael, Brian Boman, and Scott Hall . “Environmental Acts and Regulatory Agencies Affecting Citrus Groves in Florida”. University of Florida n.d. Web. 17 March 2011.