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Europe: Drop in table grape production 2014/15

Europe: Drop in table grape production 2014/15

The EU is still one of the leading producers of fresh fruit. Together with China and Iran, it is one of the main produces of table grapes in particular – Italy, Spain and Greece grow in fact 93% of the total European yield.


After a significant drop in the last decade, the area dedicated to table grape cultivation in Europe keeps dropping. This is due to the fact that growing is less profitable, production costs are increasing and there is a lot of competition. After a record 2013/14 campaign, a 16% drop is expected for 2014/15, for a total of 1.6 million tons.

In particular, considerable drops are expected in Italy (-20%), Greece (-8.6%), Spain (-8%), Bulgaria (-40.8%), France (-16%), Portugal (-8.6%) and Romania (-5.3%).


Click here to enlarge.

Italy
Italy is the sixth table grape producer worldwide and the third exporter behind Chile and the US. This fruit is cultivated mainly in the South and, thanks to the great intra and extra-European demand, production is shifting towards the seedless varieties (Sugraone, Crimson, Thompson, Centennial and Sublime).

This year, quantities should drop considerably because of bad weather during blossoming and setting. 

Lower production, slow consumption and the Russian ban meant prices dropped by 25-30% with respect to the previous season – from €1.30-1.50/kg to €0.70-1.20/kg.

Early varieties (Black Magic and Victoria) were available between May and late July. Medium and late varieties (Italia, Palieri, Pizzutello Biance and Red Globe) – which originate from Sicily, Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata and Sardinia - are harvested from August to December.


Click here to enlarge.

Spain
According to the latest data supplied by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, production should drop by 8% because of bad weather.


Currently there are 13,500 hectares of table grapes and the most productive areas are Murcia, Valencia and Andalusia. 70% of the total cultivated areas are in Murcia and Alicante. There are 50 varieties of table grapes in Spain, but the main ones are Aledo, Ideal, Muscatel, Dominga and Napoleon. Seedless grapes represent 30% of the total production and are mostly grown in Murcia.

Greece
Greece is the third main table grape producer in the EU after Italy and Spain. This year, the country should produce around 298,000 tons. The season started on the second week of August and should end early.


Currently, 17,000 hectares of table grapes are cultivated and the main producers are Corinth in the Peloponnese, Kavala in Macedonia and Candia in Crete. The most popular varieties are Sultana (Thompson seedless) and Victoria.

Consumption
Despite the economic crisis, consumption of table grapes in the EU has been rather stable in the past few years at 2 million tons. From June and until the end of the commercial year, the produce is supplied internally – imports from third countries only represent 22.5%.


Italy consumes the most, followed by Germany, UK, Greece, Spain, France, Romania, Portugal, Czech Republic, Austria, Bulgaria and Slovakia. Despite the fact that Italian grapes with seeds are still widely appreciated, consumers are increasingly asking for seedless varieties. 

Many European producers are therefore replacing traditional varieties with Sugraone, Crimson, Thompson, Regal, Summer Royal, Centennial, Sublime, etc. In addition, more attention has been paid to the late varieties, so the season can be extended for longer after the summer fruit campaign.

Source: gain.fas.usda.gov data

Publication date: 11/12/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Avocados from Mexico will run eight major promotions for 2014-15

In the most aggressive marketing plan yet for Mexican avocados in the United States, Avocados from Mexico — which expects to capture a 70 percent market share for the current marketing year, has plans to run eight major promotions this season in what Avocados from Mexico President Alvaro Luque called “the boldest plan we have ever had.”

The campaign consist of five national promotions for the general market presented in key stores throughout the country and three promotions specifically for the Hispanic market.06-MexAvos-AvosFromMex-AlvaAlvaro Luque

The first promotion of the series was launched Sept. 15 in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage month, “and we’ll go up to June without stopping,” Luque said. “We don’t have one month of the year until June 2015 that we are not going to have a promotion out there.”

The next promotion was rolled out Oct. 15. “We are partnering with Conagra RoTel” in RoTel’s sports-related promotion called Hungry for Football, he said. That promotion will feature “our joint recipe” called  Rock & Guac.

Luque said he expects Avocados from Mexico to have more than 7,000 bins of product in the stores for the promotion. It will also involve a free-standing insert and some in-store coupons.

“Right after that promotion, we are going to start one called Guac Fiesta” for the months of December and January, leading up to the Super Bowl weekend. That will be a partnership between Avocados from Mexico and Old El Paso, who is “a great partner. We are going to have a lot of excitement around it.” Old El Paso is “a company, so we are going to have a lot of extra communications in radio and digital that we are working out with them,” Luque said.

“We wanted to develop something different for the brand this year,” so immediately after Guac Fiesta, Avocados from Mexico will roll out a promotion called Fanwich. Having focused on “owning” guacamole during the football season, “we want to  make the switch from guacamole to sandwiches,” he said.

The objective, according to a written statement by Avocados from Mexico to The Produce News, is “to keep momentum strong after the big game through an in-store program and an attractive consumer promotion supported by national media.”

Simultaneously, “we are going to have a crepe promotion, probably partnering with Mission Foods, and we are also  going to have  a foodservice promotion that we are working out with some big partners,” he said. “It is going to be the first time” that Avocados from Mexico has worked promotions “at three different levels at the same time.”

After the Fanwich promotion, “we go immediately into Cinco mode,” Luque said. For the Cinco de Mayo holiday, a prommotion called Ultimate Mexican Fiesta will run April and May with Heiniken and possibly another major brand as partners.

Following Cinco, in May and June Avocados from Mexico will  run a promotion called Summer Salad Festival “to inspire consumers with fresh, healthy new summer salad ideas” using Mexican avocados, according to the written statement.

In parallel with the general market promotions, Avocados from Mexico will run promotions specifically for stores  catering to the Hispanic market, he said. Those will include a Hispanic version of the Cinco festival and, in April and May, a soccer-related promotion “where we are probably going to bring back again, the soccer stars to partner with us” as was the case in 2014.

Supporting the promotions will be an extensive communications strategy, Luque said. It will include an advertising campaign with seven new television ads. “The first four are ready to roll, and we are going to launch our first ad Nov. 11 during the pregame show of the Notre Dame football game,” introducing the new “Made with Love” campaign theme.

In addition to television, starting in October and continuing through May, the campaign will include print and digital ads. The combined effort is expected to build up 16 billion impressions, he said.

Avocados from Mexico will also be doing an extensive re-design of its website, expanding the one website into four: one for the general market, one for Hispanics, one exclusively for the trade, and “for the first time,” one for foodservice, he said. The concepts were unveiled at PMA Fresh  Summit in October and the websites will go live in November.

“The core focus of our plan is to influence avocado consumers to eat more avocados more frequently,” said the written statement.

“We are concentrating our efforts in increasing penetration and frequency with the avocado medium consumers and in building more avocado baskets with the heavy consumers.”

Avocados from Mexico is committed to maintaining and accelerating the growth of avocado consumption in the United States, the statement said.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Avocados from Mexico will run eight major promotions for 2014-15

In the most aggressive marketing plan yet for Mexican avocados in the United States, Avocados from Mexico — which expects to capture a 70 percent market share for the current marketing year, has plans to run eight major promotions this season in what Avocados from Mexico President Alvaro Luque called “the boldest plan we have ever had.”

The campaign consist of five national promotions for the general market presented in key stores throughout the country and three promotions specifically for the Hispanic market.06-MexAvos-AvosFromMex-AlvaAlvaro Luque

The first promotion of the series was launched Sept. 15 in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage month, “and we’ll go up to June without stopping,” Luque said. “We don’t have one month of the year until June 2015 that we are not going to have a promotion out there.”

The next promotion was rolled out Oct. 15. “We are partnering with Conagra RoTel” in RoTel’s sports-related promotion called Hungry for Football, he said. That promotion will feature “our joint recipe” called  Rock & Guac.

Luque said he expects Avocados from Mexico to have more than 7,000 bins of product in the stores for the promotion. It will also involve a free-standing insert and some in-store coupons.

“Right after that promotion, we are going to start one called Guac Fiesta” for the months of December and January, leading up to the Super Bowl weekend. That will be a partnership between Avocados from Mexico and Old El Paso, who is “a great partner. We are going to have a lot of excitement around it.” Old El Paso is “a company, so we are going to have a lot of extra communications in radio and digital that we are working out with them,” Luque said.

“We wanted to develop something different for the brand this year,” so immediately after Guac Fiesta, Avocados from Mexico will roll out a promotion called Fanwich. Having focused on “owning” guacamole during the football season, “we want to  make the switch from guacamole to sandwiches,” he said.

The objective, according to a written statement by Avocados from Mexico to The Produce News, is “to keep momentum strong after the big game through an in-store program and an attractive consumer promotion supported by national media.”

Simultaneously, “we are going to have a crepe promotion, probably partnering with Mission Foods, and we are also  going to have  a foodservice promotion that we are working out with some big partners,” he said. “It is going to be the first time” that Avocados from Mexico has worked promotions “at three different levels at the same time.”

After the Fanwich promotion, “we go immediately into Cinco mode,” Luque said. For the Cinco de Mayo holiday, a prommotion called Ultimate Mexican Fiesta will run April and May with Heiniken and possibly another major brand as partners.

Following Cinco, in May and June Avocados from Mexico will  run a promotion called Summer Salad Festival “to inspire consumers with fresh, healthy new summer salad ideas” using Mexican avocados, according to the written statement.

In parallel with the general market promotions, Avocados from Mexico will run promotions specifically for stores  catering to the Hispanic market, he said. Those will include a Hispanic version of the Cinco festival and, in April and May, a soccer-related promotion “where we are probably going to bring back again, the soccer stars to partner with us” as was the case in 2014.

Supporting the promotions will be an extensive communications strategy, Luque said. It will include an advertising campaign with seven new television ads. “The first four are ready to roll, and we are going to launch our first ad Nov. 11 during the pregame show of the Notre Dame football game,” introducing the new “Made with Love” campaign theme.

In addition to television, starting in October and continuing through May, the campaign will include print and digital ads. The combined effort is expected to build up 16 billion impressions, he said.

Avocados from Mexico will also be doing an extensive re-design of its website, expanding the one website into four: one for the general market, one for Hispanics, one exclusively for the trade, and “for the first time,” one for foodservice, he said. The concepts were unveiled at PMA Fresh  Summit in October and the websites will go live in November.

“The core focus of our plan is to influence avocado consumers to eat more avocados more frequently,” said the written statement.

“We are concentrating our efforts in increasing penetration and frequency with the avocado medium consumers and in building more avocado baskets with the heavy consumers.”

Avocados from Mexico is committed to maintaining and accelerating the growth of avocado consumption in the United States, the statement said.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Avocados from Mexico will run eight major promotions for 2014-15

In the most aggressive marketing plan yet for Mexican avocados in the United States, Avocados from Mexico — which expects to capture a 70 percent market share for the current marketing year, has plans to run eight major promotions this season in what Avocados from Mexico President Alvaro Luque called “the boldest plan we have ever had.”

The campaign consist of five national promotions for the general market presented in key stores throughout the country and three promotions specifically for the Hispanic market.06-MexAvos-AvosFromMex-AlvaAlvaro Luque

The first promotion of the series was launched Sept. 15 in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage month, “and we’ll go up to June without stopping,” Luque said. “We don’t have one month of the year until June 2015 that we are not going to have a promotion out there.”

The next promotion was rolled out Oct. 15. “We are partnering with Conagra RoTel” in RoTel’s sports-related promotion called Hungry for Football, he said. That promotion will feature “our joint recipe” called  Rock & Guac.

Luque said he expects Avocados from Mexico to have more than 7,000 bins of product in the stores for the promotion. It will also involve a free-standing insert and some in-store coupons.

“Right after that promotion, we are going to start one called Guac Fiesta” for the months of December and January, leading up to the Super Bowl weekend. That will be a partnership between Avocados from Mexico and Old El Paso, who is “a great partner. We are going to have a lot of excitement around it.” Old El Paso is “a company, so we are going to have a lot of extra communications in radio and digital that we are working out with them,” Luque said.

“We wanted to develop something different for the brand this year,” so immediately after Guac Fiesta, Avocados from Mexico will roll out a promotion called Fanwich. Having focused on “owning” guacamole during the football season, “we want to  make the switch from guacamole to sandwiches,” he said.

The objective, according to a written statement by Avocados from Mexico to The Produce News, is “to keep momentum strong after the big game through an in-store program and an attractive consumer promotion supported by national media.”

Simultaneously, “we are going to have a crepe promotion, probably partnering with Mission Foods, and we are also  going to have  a foodservice promotion that we are working out with some big partners,” he said. “It is going to be the first time” that Avocados from Mexico has worked promotions “at three different levels at the same time.”

After the Fanwich promotion, “we go immediately into Cinco mode,” Luque said. For the Cinco de Mayo holiday, a prommotion called Ultimate Mexican Fiesta will run April and May with Heiniken and possibly another major brand as partners.

Following Cinco, in May and June Avocados from Mexico will  run a promotion called Summer Salad Festival “to inspire consumers with fresh, healthy new summer salad ideas” using Mexican avocados, according to the written statement.

In parallel with the general market promotions, Avocados from Mexico will run promotions specifically for stores  catering to the Hispanic market, he said. Those will include a Hispanic version of the Cinco festival and, in April and May, a soccer-related promotion “where we are probably going to bring back again, the soccer stars to partner with us” as was the case in 2014.

Supporting the promotions will be an extensive communications strategy, Luque said. It will include an advertising campaign with seven new television ads. “The first four are ready to roll, and we are going to launch our first ad Nov. 11 during the pregame show of the Notre Dame football game,” introducing the new “Made with Love” campaign theme.

In addition to television, starting in October and continuing through May, the campaign will include print and digital ads. The combined effort is expected to build up 16 billion impressions, he said.

Avocados from Mexico will also be doing an extensive re-design of its website, expanding the one website into four: one for the general market, one for Hispanics, one exclusively for the trade, and “for the first time,” one for foodservice, he said. The concepts were unveiled at PMA Fresh  Summit in October and the websites will go live in November.

“The core focus of our plan is to influence avocado consumers to eat more avocados more frequently,” said the written statement.

“We are concentrating our efforts in increasing penetration and frequency with the avocado medium consumers and in building more avocado baskets with the heavy consumers.”

Avocados from Mexico is committed to maintaining and accelerating the growth of avocado consumption in the United States, the statement said.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

USDA predicts larger Florida orange crop for 2014-15

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its initial forecast for 2014-15, pegging the orange crop at 108 million boxes, up from last season’s total of 104.4 million.

Early-mid varieties accounted for 52 million boxes, while Valencias came in at 56 million boxes.

“This is a positive number as the Florida citrus grower continues to battle citrus greening disease,” Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a press release. “It’s been a tight few years for production and 2014-15 is no different.”

The USDA makes its initial estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July. The full estimate can be found at http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate.

The USDA’s estimate of the 2014-15 Florida grapefruit crop came in at 15 million boxes. Specialty fruit is estimated at 3.7 million boxes. The yield for frozen concentrate orange juice is anticipated to be 1.60 gallons per 90-pound box.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

USDA predicts larger Florida orange crop for 2014-15

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its initial forecast for 2014-15, pegging the orange crop at 108 million boxes, up from last season’s total of 104.4 million.

Early-mid varieties accounted for 52 million boxes, while Valencias came in at 56 million boxes.

“This is a positive number as the Florida citrus grower continues to battle citrus greening disease,” Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a press release. “It’s been a tight few years for production and 2014-15 is no different.”

The USDA makes its initial estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July. The full estimate can be found at http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate.

The USDA’s estimate of the 2014-15 Florida grapefruit crop came in at 15 million boxes. Specialty fruit is estimated at 3.7 million boxes. The yield for frozen concentrate orange juice is anticipated to be 1.60 gallons per 90-pound box.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

2014/15 apple harvest starting early with good size and quality

Interview with VOG Director, Gerhard Dichgans:
2014/15 apple harvest starting early with good size and quality

Following the 2013/2014 season which, despite delays, still closed on time, the new harvest – 10 days earlier than last summer – is already knocking on the door. Everything points to a full harvest, not only in the Alps region and Italy, but also in Europe’s most high profile growing areas.

The Europe-wide harvest in the 28 EU member states will not reach the 12 million limit, but it is still the largest harvest in recent years. In Poland in particular, a record harvest exceeding 3.5 million t is expected which, in view of the import ban for Europe’s fruit imposed by Russia, represents the largest element of uncertainty in this spring marketing.

Mr Dichgans, before looking more closely at the present sales season, can you look back on the 2013/14 campaign?

The marketing of last year’s harvest started in 2013 with great optimism and high prices. However, remnants of the economic crisis over recent years and the resulting drop in consumption have generally limited spending on food, including fruit and vegetables, in particular apples in many of Europe’s core countries. This meant that de-stocking of the stored harvest was delayed month after month and was only completed at the end of June/early July for some of our main varieties including Braeburn, Granny or Red Delicious.

Now, at the start of the new 2014 harvest, only small stocks of Golden remain, but which have a firm customer base until mid-September and a clearly defined market, which we have also supplied in the past. With the arrival of the new Golden harvest, the stock from the previous harvest is then sold.

How is the new harvest in South Tyrol turning out?

The South Tyrol harvest is estimated at 1.2 m tons, so nearly 9% over the previous year’s figure. This represents an outstanding result for our region. But apart from this figure alone, which by itself is obviously worthy of a headline, we should remember that we have already reached this harvest volume – namely in 2011.
Cropping and fruit sizes are fine. To harvest the right fruit quality with the necessary storage characteristics, the harvesting guidelines for our growers were revised again this spring. I am assuming good quality for the 2014 harvest, also because hailstorms have only affected small areas up to now.

What should we expect in terms of price development?

There is already active demand for the first Gala, the overseas stocks for this variety having been practically cleared. The passage from imported goods to fresh European apple harvest therefore seems to be fairly smooth. The low price level, with which we are climbing out of the old marketing season, is obviously a strong incentive for a rapid transition for our customers. Sales pressure, which builds every year during the harvest weeks, is also a contributing factor for the season to get off to a buoyant start. I see this as the best prerequisite for clearing the expected harvest volumes on schedule and to head into calmer waters next year.

How will the Russian-imposed import ban on European food, including fruit and vegetables, affect the balance on the apple market?

It was foreseen that it would go beyond the initial import ban on Polish apples. However, this initial decision was to hit the Polish apple sector at its core because, for historical reasons, Russia is Poland’s largest market and therefore vital importing an annual 500,000 to 700,000 tons of Polish apples. If this situation lasts, it may lead to an imbalanced European apple market – even more with the bumper harvest expected in Europe. On the other hand, Russia has to replace the banned imports from Poland and Europe with imports from other regions. This may lead to supplies from China or – from next spring – purchases from the southern hemisphere. This means that these quantities will be withdrawn from other markets. All in all, this is a major global shift in the flow of goods, where winners and losers are not yet known. A conclusion can be drawn as of now, however: namely that there will be fewer and fewer apples from overseas on the European market and Europe will become increasingly self-sufficient.

What innovations can we expect in the new season?

Many new plantations of the last years will now come into crop. The Nicoter/Kanzi® and Scifresh/Jazz® varieties are making great progress in sales volumes with this harvest. Our leading priority this season is therefore to build up distribution of these two outstanding apple varieties. In addition, we will use INTERPOMA, to be held in Bozen in November, as an opportunity to officially present a world première of a new yellow-skinned variety, a wonderfully tasty, juicy and crunchy apple, a great addition to the current selection of varieties. I am unable to give any more details at the current point in time and I must ask you to be patient or meet me in South Tyrol in three months.

For more information:
Sabine Oberhollenzer
VOG           
Tel.: +39 0471-256722       
Email: [email protected]

Lorenzo Minin       
VOG   
Tel.: +39 059-7863894       
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 8/19/2014


FreshPlaza.com

US: At least one Florida juice processor expected to close before 2014-15 season

US: At least one Florida juice processor expected to close before 2014-15 season

The widespread expectation among Florida growers is that at least one Florida juice processor will shut down before the beginning of the 2014-15 citrus season in the fall.

Most frequently mentioned is the Indian town plant operated by Louis Dreyfus Citrus Inc., a subsidiary of the French agriculture and energy company. Also mentioned less frequently is the Lake Wales plant operated by Citrosuco North America Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Brazilian processor Citrovita Agro Industrial Ltd., that country’s largest juice processor.

Conventional wisdom in the Florida citrus industry has a spotty record for accuracy, but the logic is straightforward enough: Under attack by the devastating bacterial disease citrus greening, Florida citrus production has fallen by more than half and grapefruit production by nearly two-thirds over the last decade, and more declines are projected for the next 10 years. There’s simply not enough fruit to support juice production at Florida’s existing 19 processing plants.

In the five-year period through the 2003-04 citrus season, the last one unaffected by greening or hurricanes, Florida orange growers produced an average 226.3 million boxes and 45.1 million boxes of grapefruit. The recently completed season saw orange production drop to 104.3 million boxes and grapefruit to 15.6 million.

Annually, 95 percent of Florida oranges and more than 60 percent of grapefruit get processed to juice.

Consolidation among juice processors seems not unreasonable given the shrinkage in the state’s packinghouse just this year.

In April, the Kennedy family auctioned off its 47-year-old Vero Beach packinghouse business, United Indian River Packers Inc., along with nearly 2,000 acres of land, including 850 citrus grove acres, ending nearly a century of the family’s Florida citrus enterprise.

In June, Greene River Packing Inc. and Leroy Smith Inc., announced a merger of their Vero Beach packinghouses. The new company, Greene-Smith Packing LLC, will operate out of the Greene River packinghouse.

Figures on citrus processing capacity in Florida are not available, but Hugh Thompson, president of Cutrale Citrus Juices U.S.A. Inc. in Auburndale, a subsidiary of another Brazilian processor, estimated existing capacity at 220 million boxes, or more than twice needed to process the 2013-14 crop. Thompson declined to comment on whether Cutrale and other Florida plants can continue to operate profitably at 50 percent capacity.

Other citrus officials are divided on that question.

A processing plant has certain fixed costs, such as building and machine maintenance, quality control and other management costs, that vary little whether it runs 1,000 or 1 million boxes of fruit, Roe said.

As juice production declines, those fixed costs get spread over a smaller number of gallons, which inevitably gets passed on to the consumer in higher retail prices, he added.

The economics of making orange juice differs from manufacturing widgets, said Tom Spreen, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and the Florida processing industry doesn’t operate by the same economic rules.

For one thing, Spreen said, processors and fresh fruit packinghouses operate only about half a year, the length of the harvesting season.

Moreover, one of a processing plant’s biggest fixed costs is leasing and running extractors that squeeze juice from the fruit, he added. Because the machines are leased, plants can downsize more readily as citrus production falls.

There’s already been a substantial downsizing of processors and packinghouses in response to market forces that pre-date greening, such as the 37 percent decline in U.S. retail OJ sales that began in 2000-01, Spreen said. The market also has moved away from frozen concentrated orange juice and reconstituted OJ from concentrate.
According to the Florida Department of Citrus, the number of citrus processors declined by half in the early part of the last decade from 42 companies in 2000-2001 to 21 in 2006-2007.

Most of the companies that closed during the last 13 years produced mostly frozen concentrate, which has declined more rapidly in sales compared to not-from-concentrate (NFC) orange juice, Spreen said.

Of the remaining producers, the “Big Seven” processors are involved mainly in NFC production, he said. They are Florida’s Natural; Tropicana Products Inc. in Bradenton, the largest U.S. processor; Cutrale (which processes for Minute Maid); CitroSuco (which processes for Tropicana); Dreyfus; Peace River Citrus Products Inc. in Arcadia; and Southern Gardens Citrus Processing Corp. in Clewiston.

Behr agreed that even significantly lower orange production in future seasons doesn’t necessarily spell impending doom for processors of NFC OJ, Florida’s premium citrus product. The Florida’s Natural brand is an entirely NFC line.

At current sales levels, about 75 million boxes of oranges will be processed to meet the U.S. demand for NFC orange juice, Behr said. As the state’s orange crop declines, frozen concentrate processors will feel the pinch before NFC companies do.

“The economics of running Florida fruit to concentrate are not that good right now,” Behr said. “That’s where the pressure is now.”

Source: theledger.com

Publication date: 7/7/2014


FreshPlaza.com

US: At least one Florida juice processor expected to close before 2014-15 season

US: At least one Florida juice processor expected to close before 2014-15 season

The widespread expectation among Florida growers is that at least one Florida juice processor will shut down before the beginning of the 2014-15 citrus season in the fall.

Most frequently mentioned is the Indian town plant operated by Louis Dreyfus Citrus Inc., a subsidiary of the French agriculture and energy company. Also mentioned less frequently is the Lake Wales plant operated by Citrosuco North America Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Brazilian processor Citrovita Agro Industrial Ltd., that country’s largest juice processor.

Conventional wisdom in the Florida citrus industry has a spotty record for accuracy, but the logic is straightforward enough: Under attack by the devastating bacterial disease citrus greening, Florida citrus production has fallen by more than half and grapefruit production by nearly two-thirds over the last decade, and more declines are projected for the next 10 years. There’s simply not enough fruit to support juice production at Florida’s existing 19 processing plants.

In the five-year period through the 2003-04 citrus season, the last one unaffected by greening or hurricanes, Florida orange growers produced an average 226.3 million boxes and 45.1 million boxes of grapefruit. The recently completed season saw orange production drop to 104.3 million boxes and grapefruit to 15.6 million.

Annually, 95 percent of Florida oranges and more than 60 percent of grapefruit get processed to juice.

Consolidation among juice processors seems not unreasonable given the shrinkage in the state’s packinghouse just this year.

In April, the Kennedy family auctioned off its 47-year-old Vero Beach packinghouse business, United Indian River Packers Inc., along with nearly 2,000 acres of land, including 850 citrus grove acres, ending nearly a century of the family’s Florida citrus enterprise.

In June, Greene River Packing Inc. and Leroy Smith Inc., announced a merger of their Vero Beach packinghouses. The new company, Greene-Smith Packing LLC, will operate out of the Greene River packinghouse.

Figures on citrus processing capacity in Florida are not available, but Hugh Thompson, president of Cutrale Citrus Juices U.S.A. Inc. in Auburndale, a subsidiary of another Brazilian processor, estimated existing capacity at 220 million boxes, or more than twice needed to process the 2013-14 crop. Thompson declined to comment on whether Cutrale and other Florida plants can continue to operate profitably at 50 percent capacity.

Other citrus officials are divided on that question.

A processing plant has certain fixed costs, such as building and machine maintenance, quality control and other management costs, that vary little whether it runs 1,000 or 1 million boxes of fruit, Roe said.

As juice production declines, those fixed costs get spread over a smaller number of gallons, which inevitably gets passed on to the consumer in higher retail prices, he added.

The economics of making orange juice differs from manufacturing widgets, said Tom Spreen, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and the Florida processing industry doesn’t operate by the same economic rules.

For one thing, Spreen said, processors and fresh fruit packinghouses operate only about half a year, the length of the harvesting season.

Moreover, one of a processing plant’s biggest fixed costs is leasing and running extractors that squeeze juice from the fruit, he added. Because the machines are leased, plants can downsize more readily as citrus production falls.

There’s already been a substantial downsizing of processors and packinghouses in response to market forces that pre-date greening, such as the 37 percent decline in U.S. retail OJ sales that began in 2000-01, Spreen said. The market also has moved away from frozen concentrated orange juice and reconstituted OJ from concentrate.
According to the Florida Department of Citrus, the number of citrus processors declined by half in the early part of the last decade from 42 companies in 2000-2001 to 21 in 2006-2007.

Most of the companies that closed during the last 13 years produced mostly frozen concentrate, which has declined more rapidly in sales compared to not-from-concentrate (NFC) orange juice, Spreen said.

Of the remaining producers, the “Big Seven” processors are involved mainly in NFC production, he said. They are Florida’s Natural; Tropicana Products Inc. in Bradenton, the largest U.S. processor; Cutrale (which processes for Minute Maid); CitroSuco (which processes for Tropicana); Dreyfus; Peace River Citrus Products Inc. in Arcadia; and Southern Gardens Citrus Processing Corp. in Clewiston.

Behr agreed that even significantly lower orange production in future seasons doesn’t necessarily spell impending doom for processors of NFC OJ, Florida’s premium citrus product. The Florida’s Natural brand is an entirely NFC line.

At current sales levels, about 75 million boxes of oranges will be processed to meet the U.S. demand for NFC orange juice, Behr said. As the state’s orange crop declines, frozen concentrate processors will feel the pinch before NFC companies do.

“The economics of running Florida fruit to concentrate are not that good right now,” Behr said. “That’s where the pressure is now.”

Source: theledger.com

Publication date: 7/7/2014


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US: At least one Florida juice processor expected to close before 2014-15 season

US: At least one Florida juice processor expected to close before 2014-15 season

The widespread expectation among Florida growers is that at least one Florida juice processor will shut down before the beginning of the 2014-15 citrus season in the fall.

Most frequently mentioned is the Indian town plant operated by Louis Dreyfus Citrus Inc., a subsidiary of the French agriculture and energy company. Also mentioned less frequently is the Lake Wales plant operated by Citrosuco North America Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Brazilian processor Citrovita Agro Industrial Ltd., that country’s largest juice processor.

Conventional wisdom in the Florida citrus industry has a spotty record for accuracy, but the logic is straightforward enough: Under attack by the devastating bacterial disease citrus greening, Florida citrus production has fallen by more than half and grapefruit production by nearly two-thirds over the last decade, and more declines are projected for the next 10 years. There’s simply not enough fruit to support juice production at Florida’s existing 19 processing plants.

In the five-year period through the 2003-04 citrus season, the last one unaffected by greening or hurricanes, Florida orange growers produced an average 226.3 million boxes and 45.1 million boxes of grapefruit. The recently completed season saw orange production drop to 104.3 million boxes and grapefruit to 15.6 million.

Annually, 95 percent of Florida oranges and more than 60 percent of grapefruit get processed to juice.

Consolidation among juice processors seems not unreasonable given the shrinkage in the state’s packinghouse just this year.

In April, the Kennedy family auctioned off its 47-year-old Vero Beach packinghouse business, United Indian River Packers Inc., along with nearly 2,000 acres of land, including 850 citrus grove acres, ending nearly a century of the family’s Florida citrus enterprise.

In June, Greene River Packing Inc. and Leroy Smith Inc., announced a merger of their Vero Beach packinghouses. The new company, Greene-Smith Packing LLC, will operate out of the Greene River packinghouse.

Figures on citrus processing capacity in Florida are not available, but Hugh Thompson, president of Cutrale Citrus Juices U.S.A. Inc. in Auburndale, a subsidiary of another Brazilian processor, estimated existing capacity at 220 million boxes, or more than twice needed to process the 2013-14 crop. Thompson declined to comment on whether Cutrale and other Florida plants can continue to operate profitably at 50 percent capacity.

Other citrus officials are divided on that question.

A processing plant has certain fixed costs, such as building and machine maintenance, quality control and other management costs, that vary little whether it runs 1,000 or 1 million boxes of fruit, Roe said.

As juice production declines, those fixed costs get spread over a smaller number of gallons, which inevitably gets passed on to the consumer in higher retail prices, he added.

The economics of making orange juice differs from manufacturing widgets, said Tom Spreen, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and the Florida processing industry doesn’t operate by the same economic rules.

For one thing, Spreen said, processors and fresh fruit packinghouses operate only about half a year, the length of the harvesting season.

Moreover, one of a processing plant’s biggest fixed costs is leasing and running extractors that squeeze juice from the fruit, he added. Because the machines are leased, plants can downsize more readily as citrus production falls.

There’s already been a substantial downsizing of processors and packinghouses in response to market forces that pre-date greening, such as the 37 percent decline in U.S. retail OJ sales that began in 2000-01, Spreen said. The market also has moved away from frozen concentrated orange juice and reconstituted OJ from concentrate.
According to the Florida Department of Citrus, the number of citrus processors declined by half in the early part of the last decade from 42 companies in 2000-2001 to 21 in 2006-2007.

Most of the companies that closed during the last 13 years produced mostly frozen concentrate, which has declined more rapidly in sales compared to not-from-concentrate (NFC) orange juice, Spreen said.

Of the remaining producers, the “Big Seven” processors are involved mainly in NFC production, he said. They are Florida’s Natural; Tropicana Products Inc. in Bradenton, the largest U.S. processor; Cutrale (which processes for Minute Maid); CitroSuco (which processes for Tropicana); Dreyfus; Peace River Citrus Products Inc. in Arcadia; and Southern Gardens Citrus Processing Corp. in Clewiston.

Behr agreed that even significantly lower orange production in future seasons doesn’t necessarily spell impending doom for processors of NFC OJ, Florida’s premium citrus product. The Florida’s Natural brand is an entirely NFC line.

At current sales levels, about 75 million boxes of oranges will be processed to meet the U.S. demand for NFC orange juice, Behr said. As the state’s orange crop declines, frozen concentrate processors will feel the pinch before NFC companies do.

“The economics of running Florida fruit to concentrate are not that good right now,” Behr said. “That’s where the pressure is now.”

Source: theledger.com

Publication date: 7/7/2014


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