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Florida 127 a sweet ‘Sensation’ in strawberry industry

Florida’s strawberry industry is abuzz as studies show strong potential for the Florida 127, a relatively new strawberry variety marketed under the “Sensation” brand.

“Florida 127 is a promising new cultivar for west-central Florida growers due to its early yield, robust plant habit, and excellent fruit size and eating quality,” according to the Institute of Food & Agricultural Services of the University of Florida.

According to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, the IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center has patented nine Florida strawberry varieties since 1992.Florida12The Florida 127 strawberry is a relatively new variety marketed under the ‘Sensation’ brand. They are grown and marketed under the “Sweet Charlie,” “Rosa Linda,” “Earlibrite,” “Strawberry Festival,” “Carmine, “Winter Dawn, “Florida Elyana, “Florida Radiance” and “Winterstar” names. Although developed for optimum performance in Florida’s winter climate, the association said the varieties are marketed globally.

“We are so fortunate to have the University of Florida land grant university,” said Kenneth Parker, executive director of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.

IFAS operations are spearheaded by Vance Whitaker, who Parker called “a tremendous asset to this industry.” He added that Whitaker’s predecessor, professor emeritus Craig Chandler, paved the way for the important research currently being conducted.

Florida 127, first crossed in 2009, reached marketplace introduction quickly. A limited volume was released in 2013.

“This is the second year it has been in commercial production,” Parker said. “We have to make sure it meets a high flavor profile.”

Another advantage of the Florida 127 is its ability to maintain high quality during and after shipment. “Consumers want sweeter berries with a longer shelf life,” he said.

Initial feedback about the strawberry variety has been positive. In addition to its sweet taste, Parker said the variety is large and the red color doesn’t darken over time. Whether eaten fresh or used for cooking applications, Parker said Florida 127 is a berry of choice.

Looking at production, Parker said limited acreage currently under cultivation for Florida 127 could bloom to as much as 2,500 acres next season. To illustrate the impact of the variety on the industry, Parker said Florida strawberry growers had approximately 11,000 acres in production for all varieties this season.

The commercialization process for new varieties gives Florida producers a competitive edge.

“Florida growers usually have a three-year competitive advantage [before the variety is generally released],” he said.

UF sells strawberry plants around the world, and Parker said the Middle East and Mexico are two top destinations for these patented plants.

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

FSGA touts ‘one of the best growing seasons ever’ for Florida strawberries

Volume for bright red, luscious Florida strawberries began peaking in December, and Kenneth Parker, executive director of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, said the 2014-15 season would not disappoint.

“This season has been unseasonably cool, which is excellent for quality,” he told The Produce News in mid-December. “This has been one of the best growing seasons ever.”Florida127

Cooler conditions did delay the onset of harvest by roughly a week, and activity ramped up at Thanksgiving. Berries, he went on to say, were sizing well with good color, and consumers will be fully satisfied with the sweet taste profile of the Florida crop.

Hillsborough County, the region in which winter strawberry production is situated, is widely regarded as the Strawberry Capital of the World for the winter. Parker said growers cultivated approximately 11,000 acres in the fruit this season.

“Hillsborough County produces about 15 percent of the nation’s strawberries and virtually all the berries grown during the winter,” according to the FSGA web site. “The commodity has an economic impact on our community exceeding $ 700 million. The 20 million flats produced each year, if placed end to end, would extend from Plant City, FL, to Seattle and back again.”

Florida strawberries are typically shipped through through April, and Sue Harrell, the association’s director of marketing, said over 80 percent of the berries will be moved outside the Sunshine State.

“We are the most locally grown, freshest berry to the eastern United States and Canada,” Parker said. “We have excellent infrastructure to get berries moving.”

Transportation is predominantly handled by refrigerated truck due to ease of access to major transportation arteries with maximum delivery times of three days. Parker said this is roughly half the time offered by other growing regions.

On the marketing side, Harrell said the association has partnered with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services’ Fresh From Florida program, under which producers can display the program logo on their product packaging and signage.

This is the second year for extensive use of the program by strawberry producers. The association has approximately 250 members, 80 of whom are Florida strawberry growers. The association, which has worked in behalf of the industry for 32 years, is a voluntary organization.

“We encourage members to put the Fresh From Florida logo on their packaging,” Harrell stated, adding that the association makes this goal easy for its membership. The association pays for membership in the Fresh From Florida program and reimburses producers for their use of the logo.

“Retailers also use it to identify their Florida commodities,” and restaurants also take advantage of the program, she said.

The Fresh From Florida messaging can also be found on trucks rolling along the I-95 and I-75 corridors, which Harrell said are virtually “moving billboards.”

Winter weather can be dicey, and Harrell said the association’s unique Meteorologists’ Fruit Drop brightens up Valentine’s Day in 22 markets in the northeastern United States.

“Twenty-two flats of strawberries are shipped,” she said, with information about Florida strawberries accompanying the deliveries. And meteorologists are happy to give the association some air time to promote the fresh Florida fruit, she said.

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

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Florida strawberries on target

Shipments of Florida strawberries began in mid-November in a light way with much greater volume expected by the week of Dec. 8, which is right on target, according to Kenneth Parker of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.

“We typically run from November through March,” said the association’s newly appointed executive director, adding that the crop can also be harvested and shipped into April if market conditions warrant it.

Tom O’Brien, president of C&D Fruit & Vegetable Co. Inc. in Bradenton, FL, said that perfect growing conditions this season have led to an almost perfect crop.

“I’m knocking on my head as I say that because there is no wood nearby,” he quipped. “Right now we have very good quality and a very good-eating piece of fruit.”

Parker said the acreage this year is right at about the 11,000-acre level, with the vast majority of that grown within 25-30 miles of Plant City.

“We hit a plateau at the figure and need to increase demand before we increase acreage,” he said.

As the season was getting under way, the market price was very good as California was heading into its gap period with demand exceeding supplies.

The U.S. Market News Service reported the market price for the week prior to Thanksgiving at $ 22-26 for California berries. Parker said the Florida market was even higher than that.

“Thanksgiving typically kicks off our season, and that is the case again this year,” he said the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

On Nov. 25, O’Brien said volume for Thanksgiving was limited to the few growers who had fruit from transplants started in a greenhouse to bring them on early, but he was expecting volume to start to pick up in about two weeks for most growers.

“From mid-December into April, we should have plenty of fruit — if Mother Nature cooperates,” he said.

Parker relayed that Florida growers are bullish about this season and the long-term prospects for the local strawberry industry. For quite some time, the industry has had an aggressive breeding program with the University of Florida, and some very promising varieties are being developed in that program.

Parker, who was a field man for a chemical firm before taking over the association position, said about 80 percent of the Florida crop is comprised of University of Florida varieties, with Radiance being the top variety this year. He added that there are some great varieties in the research pipeline, and he is particularly optimistic about one currently marketed as “Florida 127.”

He said Florida 127 is a great-tasting variety and could give Florida the unique berry it seeks for an aggressive marketing program. By next year, Parker said as many as 2,500 acres could be planted in this variety.

Parker said the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and into Canada is the main marketing area for Florida strawberries, “where the consumer values the local nature of our crop. Our unique characteristic is flavor. That’s great for the consumer and great for our growers.”

Parker replaced Ted Campbell, who led the Florida Strawberry Growers Association since 2008. Campbell, who had a very long career in the retail end of the fresh produce business before joining the association, retired on Sept. 30.

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

Florida strawberries on target

Shipments of Florida strawberries began in mid-November in a light way with much greater volume expected by the week of Dec. 8, which is right on target, according to Kenneth Parker of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.

“We typically run from November through March,” said the association’s newly appointed executive director, adding that the crop can also be harvested and shipped into April if market conditions warrant it.

Tom O’Brien, president of C&D Fruit & Vegetable Co. Inc. in Bradenton, FL, said that perfect growing conditions this season have led to an almost perfect crop.

“I’m knocking on my head as I say that because there is no wood nearby,” he quipped. “Right now we have very good quality and a very good-eating piece of fruit.”

Parker said the acreage this year is right at about the 11,000-acre level, with the vast majority of that grown within 25-30 miles of Plant City.

“We hit a plateau at the figure and need to increase demand before we increase acreage,” he said.

As the season was getting under way, the market price was very good as California was heading into its gap period with demand exceeding supplies.

The U.S. Market News Service reported the market price for the week prior to Thanksgiving at $ 22-26 for California berries. Parker said the Florida market was even higher than that.

“Thanksgiving typically kicks off our season, and that is the case again this year,” he said the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

On Nov. 25, O’Brien said volume for Thanksgiving was limited to the few growers who had fruit from transplants started in a greenhouse to bring them on early, but he was expecting volume to start to pick up in about two weeks for most growers.

“From mid-December into April, we should have plenty of fruit — if Mother Nature cooperates,” he said.

Parker relayed that Florida growers are bullish about this season and the long-term prospects for the local strawberry industry. For quite some time, the industry has had an aggressive breeding program with the University of Florida, and some very promising varieties are being developed in that program.

Parker, who was a field man for a chemical firm before taking over the association position, said about 80 percent of the Florida crop is comprised of University of Florida varieties, with Radiance being the top variety this year. He added that there are some great varieties in the research pipeline, and he is particularly optimistic about one currently marketed as “Florida 127.”

He said Florida 127 is a great-tasting variety and could give Florida the unique berry it seeks for an aggressive marketing program. By next year, Parker said as many as 2,500 acres could be planted in this variety.

Parker said the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and into Canada is the main marketing area for Florida strawberries, “where the consumer values the local nature of our crop. Our unique characteristic is flavor. That’s great for the consumer and great for our growers.”

Parker replaced Ted Campbell, who led the Florida Strawberry Growers Association since 2008. Campbell, who had a very long career in the retail end of the fresh produce business before joining the association, retired on Sept. 30.

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

Florida fresh production keeps consumers well-stocked into winter

The Sunshine State has a lot to brag about when it comes to production of fresh produce. “Florida’s unique advantage is that we are the predominant U.S. source for fresh-market vegetables in the fall, winter and early spring months,” said Thomas Perny, marketing specialist with the Division of Marketing & Development, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. “Our favorable winter climate facilitates growing a wide variety of vegetables during a time when most states are experiencing cold conditions. Florida’s fruits and vegetables are known for their high quality and freshness.”

Perny said most of Florida’s fruits and vegetables are grown south of Interstate 4. “Citrus is grown more in the central and south-central counties, and vegetables grown from the south-central to southeast/southwest counties,” he told The Produce News. “Palm Beach County is Florida’s leading agricultural county, and Polk County is the leading citrus producer.”

extra-ov-picA produce truck in a field near Immokalee, FL. A host of commodities was being harvested at press time.Perny said a host of commodities as being harvested at press time, including avocados, cucumbers, eggplant, herbs, white and colored grapefruit, Navel oranges, tangerines, Bell and specialty peppers, squash, sugar cane, fall crop watermelon and various tropical fruits. Tomato production is winding down in north Florida and ramping up in south Florida.

“Crops that should start to ship in November, in addition to the above, are sweet corn, strawberries, radishes, Iceberg and Romaine lettuce and tangelos,” he said.

Weather has affected some harvest windows. “Wet August and September conditions caused some delays in getting fall and winter vegetable crops planted in central and southwest/southeast Florida,” Perny stated. “Generally, we have noted about a one-week harvesting delay in the start of select fresh-market vegetables. Affected crops so far appear to be only fall watermelons and squash. Drier weather over the past several weeks has aided in the harvesting of north Florida and panhandle field crops and helped the planting of winter vegetables such as cabbage, strawberries and greens in the Putnam, Flagler and Bradford county areas.”

A spot check of Florida commodities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s terminal market report does not show adverse quality issues, Perny commented. “Grapefruits are reported to be on the small side, but have good quality,” he added.

Perny said the general rule of thumb is that approximately 20 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables are consumed within the state, with 80 percent moving to out-of-state and international markets. “Florida’s leading export nation for fresh-market commodity shipments is Canada,” he said.

With such a vast array of fresh items, Florida consumers have no difficulty sourcing locally grown and available produce. “Consumers are definitely more interested in where their food is grow and its freshness/quality,” Perny explained. “Restaurants are marketing using locally grown ingredients. Some menus are featuring all Fresh from Florida meals. Most Florida grocery stores are marketing local connections by featuring grower profiles in their stores and buying local fresh products.”

Perny was asked how the department defines what is locally grown. “One of Florida’s 300 agricultural commodities,” he responded. “So the answer would be in state. Most consumers are surprised to find out how quickly our produce reaches their favorite grocer or fruit stand. A vegetable picked today can be on Florida grocery shelves tomorrow and in Michigan in 48-72 hours. The state enjoys an excellent interstate highway system that runs the entire length of Florida, which facilitates the quick and timely shipments to the Midwest, Northeast and Canadian markets.”

To promote Florida fresh produce, the department engages in retail advertising promotions with most eastern U.S. and Canadian grocery stores, conducts international retail promotions in Asia, Europe and Canada and actively engages in in-state and out-of-state media advertising. Perny said Florida restaurant promotions feature Fresh from Florida commodities. Agriculture association events and industry trade shows are sponsored and attended.

“This year’s Fresh from Florida retail agricultural promotions will continue to support U.S. and Canadian grocers with print promotion of Florida fresh market commodities but will add a new emphasis on more product samplings within select Florida, U.S. and international grocery store locations,” he added.

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

Florida fresh production keeps consumers well-stocked into winter

The Sunshine State has a lot to brag about when it comes to production of fresh produce. “Florida’s unique advantage is that we are the predominant U.S. source for fresh-market vegetables in the fall, winter and early spring months,” said Thomas Perny, marketing specialist with the Division of Marketing & Development, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. “Our favorable winter climate facilitates growing a wide variety of vegetables during a time when most states are experiencing cold conditions. Florida’s fruits and vegetables are known for their high quality and freshness.”

Perny said most of Florida’s fruits and vegetables are grown south of Interstate 4. “Citrus is grown more in the central and south-central counties, and vegetables grown from the south-central to southeast/southwest counties,” he told The Produce News. “Palm Beach County is Florida’s leading agricultural county, and Polk County is the leading citrus producer.”

extra-ov-picA produce truck in a field near Immokalee, FL. A host of commodities was being harvested at press time.Perny said a host of commodities as being harvested at press time, including avocados, cucumbers, eggplant, herbs, white and colored grapefruit, Navel oranges, tangerines, Bell and specialty peppers, squash, sugar cane, fall crop watermelon and various tropical fruits. Tomato production is winding down in north Florida and ramping up in south Florida.

“Crops that should start to ship in November, in addition to the above, are sweet corn, strawberries, radishes, Iceberg and Romaine lettuce and tangelos,” he said.

Weather has affected some harvest windows. “Wet August and September conditions caused some delays in getting fall and winter vegetable crops planted in central and southwest/southeast Florida,” Perny stated. “Generally, we have noted about a one-week harvesting delay in the start of select fresh-market vegetables. Affected crops so far appear to be only fall watermelons and squash. Drier weather over the past several weeks has aided in the harvesting of north Florida and panhandle field crops and helped the planting of winter vegetables such as cabbage, strawberries and greens in the Putnam, Flagler and Bradford county areas.”

A spot check of Florida commodities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s terminal market report does not show adverse quality issues, Perny commented. “Grapefruits are reported to be on the small side, but have good quality,” he added.

Perny said the general rule of thumb is that approximately 20 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables are consumed within the state, with 80 percent moving to out-of-state and international markets. “Florida’s leading export nation for fresh-market commodity shipments is Canada,” he said.

With such a vast array of fresh items, Florida consumers have no difficulty sourcing locally grown and available produce. “Consumers are definitely more interested in where their food is grow and its freshness/quality,” Perny explained. “Restaurants are marketing using locally grown ingredients. Some menus are featuring all Fresh from Florida meals. Most Florida grocery stores are marketing local connections by featuring grower profiles in their stores and buying local fresh products.”

Perny was asked how the department defines what is locally grown. “One of Florida’s 300 agricultural commodities,” he responded. “So the answer would be in state. Most consumers are surprised to find out how quickly our produce reaches their favorite grocer or fruit stand. A vegetable picked today can be on Florida grocery shelves tomorrow and in Michigan in 48-72 hours. The state enjoys an excellent interstate highway system that runs the entire length of Florida, which facilitates the quick and timely shipments to the Midwest, Northeast and Canadian markets.”

To promote Florida fresh produce, the department engages in retail advertising promotions with most eastern U.S. and Canadian grocery stores, conducts international retail promotions in Asia, Europe and Canada and actively engages in in-state and out-of-state media advertising. Perny said Florida restaurant promotions feature Fresh from Florida commodities. Agriculture association events and industry trade shows are sponsored and attended.

“This year’s Fresh from Florida retail agricultural promotions will continue to support U.S. and Canadian grocers with print promotion of Florida fresh market commodities but will add a new emphasis on more product samplings within select Florida, U.S. and international grocery store locations,” he added.

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

Florida fresh production keeps consumers well-stocked into winter

The Sunshine State has a lot to brag about when it comes to production of fresh produce. “Florida’s unique advantage is that we are the predominant U.S. source for fresh-market vegetables in the fall, winter and early spring months,” said Thomas Perny, marketing specialist with the Division of Marketing & Development, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. “Our favorable winter climate facilitates growing a wide variety of vegetables during a time when most states are experiencing cold conditions. Florida’s fruits and vegetables are known for their high quality and freshness.”

Perny said most of Florida’s fruits and vegetables are grown south of Interstate 4. “Citrus is grown more in the central and south-central counties, and vegetables grown from the south-central to southeast/southwest counties,” he told The Produce News. “Palm Beach County is Florida’s leading agricultural county, and Polk County is the leading citrus producer.”

extra-ov-picA produce truck in a field near Immokalee, FL. A host of commodities was being harvested at press time.Perny said a host of commodities as being harvested at press time, including avocados, cucumbers, eggplant, herbs, white and colored grapefruit, Navel oranges, tangerines, Bell and specialty peppers, squash, sugar cane, fall crop watermelon and various tropical fruits. Tomato production is winding down in north Florida and ramping up in south Florida.

“Crops that should start to ship in November, in addition to the above, are sweet corn, strawberries, radishes, Iceberg and Romaine lettuce and tangelos,” he said.

Weather has affected some harvest windows. “Wet August and September conditions caused some delays in getting fall and winter vegetable crops planted in central and southwest/southeast Florida,” Perny stated. “Generally, we have noted about a one-week harvesting delay in the start of select fresh-market vegetables. Affected crops so far appear to be only fall watermelons and squash. Drier weather over the past several weeks has aided in the harvesting of north Florida and panhandle field crops and helped the planting of winter vegetables such as cabbage, strawberries and greens in the Putnam, Flagler and Bradford county areas.”

A spot check of Florida commodities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s terminal market report does not show adverse quality issues, Perny commented. “Grapefruits are reported to be on the small side, but have good quality,” he added.

Perny said the general rule of thumb is that approximately 20 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables are consumed within the state, with 80 percent moving to out-of-state and international markets. “Florida’s leading export nation for fresh-market commodity shipments is Canada,” he said.

With such a vast array of fresh items, Florida consumers have no difficulty sourcing locally grown and available produce. “Consumers are definitely more interested in where their food is grow and its freshness/quality,” Perny explained. “Restaurants are marketing using locally grown ingredients. Some menus are featuring all Fresh from Florida meals. Most Florida grocery stores are marketing local connections by featuring grower profiles in their stores and buying local fresh products.”

Perny was asked how the department defines what is locally grown. “One of Florida’s 300 agricultural commodities,” he responded. “So the answer would be in state. Most consumers are surprised to find out how quickly our produce reaches their favorite grocer or fruit stand. A vegetable picked today can be on Florida grocery shelves tomorrow and in Michigan in 48-72 hours. The state enjoys an excellent interstate highway system that runs the entire length of Florida, which facilitates the quick and timely shipments to the Midwest, Northeast and Canadian markets.”

To promote Florida fresh produce, the department engages in retail advertising promotions with most eastern U.S. and Canadian grocery stores, conducts international retail promotions in Asia, Europe and Canada and actively engages in in-state and out-of-state media advertising. Perny said Florida restaurant promotions feature Fresh from Florida commodities. Agriculture association events and industry trade shows are sponsored and attended.

“This year’s Fresh from Florida retail agricultural promotions will continue to support U.S. and Canadian grocers with print promotion of Florida fresh market commodities but will add a new emphasis on more product samplings within select Florida, U.S. and international grocery store locations,” he added.

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