The growth of the Citrus Canning and Processing Industry of Florida during the past twenty years has been phenomenal. In 1940, approximately 70% of the crop was merchandised as fresh fruit and 30% was processed in canning plants. Today, these figures are exactly reversed with 70% being processed and 30% sold as fresh fruit. As a result of this trend, there has been some tendency to relegate the fresh fruit segment of the industry to the position of step-child. It is becoming increasingly apparent, however, that the continued success of the industry is dependent upon maintaining and developing all possible sales outlets for the ever increasing crop. This is especially recognized this season, when with high inventories of processed citrus at the beginning of the season, the fresh fruit packing houses had to take up the slack. Thus far, fresh fruit shipments are about 25% greater than they were last season when total fresh shipments were 28,000,000 boxes. Without this increased movement, prices of all citrus products undoubtedly would have been depressed. The continuing importance of the fresh fruit segment of the industry is therefore becoming more fully recognized.
Paper published with permission.