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Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Experts predict a spike in the price of Florida’s citrus this upcoming harvest season, meaning slightly more revenue for the state’s farmers. But an unexpected increase in orange production could keep retail prices low.

Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that’s cut Florida’s citrus crops in half since it first struck the state’s trees in 2005. The lower supply has helped farmers fetch higher prices per orange. But, former University of Florida professor of agricultural economics Tom Spreen says farmers are still having a hard time breaking even.

But a bit of relief could come in this upcoming harvest, with the most recent projection showing a slightly higher orange output. That means retail prices on orange products could stabilize, even though wholesale prices might be higher. Florida Department of Citrus economist Marisa Zansler says the increased production is unexpected after several seasons of decline. She adds scientific advances in the fight against citrus greening disease, and a government replanting program, give hope for a revitalization of the industry.

Some remain more cautiously optimistic. Retired UF professor Spreen says the citrus industry is in need of help sooner, rather than later.

“My guess is that a solution will be found, or it may even be solutions,” Spreen says. “There may in fact be a number of tactics that are developed. It’s just the question right now is how soon is it going to come?”

Spreen says some orange juice producers have begun offering subsidies to encourage wary farmers to plant more trees.

Please visit www.wfsu.org for more information.

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Experts predict a spike in the price of Florida’s citrus this upcoming harvest season, meaning slightly more revenue for the state’s farmers. But an unexpected increase in orange production could keep retail prices low.

Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that’s cut Florida’s citrus crops in half since it first struck the state’s trees in 2005. The lower supply has helped farmers fetch higher prices per orange. But, former University of Florida professor of agricultural economics Tom Spreen says farmers are still having a hard time breaking even.

But a bit of relief could come in this upcoming harvest, with the most recent projection showing a slightly higher orange output. That means retail prices on orange products could stabilize, even though wholesale prices might be higher. Florida Department of Citrus economist Marisa Zansler says the increased production is unexpected after several seasons of decline. She adds scientific advances in the fight against citrus greening disease, and a government replanting program, give hope for a revitalization of the industry.

Some remain more cautiously optimistic. Retired UF professor Spreen says the citrus industry is in need of help sooner, rather than later.

“My guess is that a solution will be found, or it may even be solutions,” Spreen says. “There may in fact be a number of tactics that are developed. It’s just the question right now is how soon is it going to come?”

Spreen says some orange juice producers have begun offering subsidies to encourage wary farmers to plant more trees.

Please visit www.wfsu.org for more information.

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Experts predict a spike in the price of Florida’s citrus this upcoming harvest season, meaning slightly more revenue for the state’s farmers. But an unexpected increase in orange production could keep retail prices low.

Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that’s cut Florida’s citrus crops in half since it first struck the state’s trees in 2005. The lower supply has helped farmers fetch higher prices per orange. But, former University of Florida professor of agricultural economics Tom Spreen says farmers are still having a hard time breaking even.

But a bit of relief could come in this upcoming harvest, with the most recent projection showing a slightly higher orange output. That means retail prices on orange products could stabilize, even though wholesale prices might be higher. Florida Department of Citrus economist Marisa Zansler says the increased production is unexpected after several seasons of decline. She adds scientific advances in the fight against citrus greening disease, and a government replanting program, give hope for a revitalization of the industry.

Some remain more cautiously optimistic. Retired UF professor Spreen says the citrus industry is in need of help sooner, rather than later.

“My guess is that a solution will be found, or it may even be solutions,” Spreen says. “There may in fact be a number of tactics that are developed. It’s just the question right now is how soon is it going to come?”

Spreen says some orange juice producers have begun offering subsidies to encourage wary farmers to plant more trees.

Please visit www.wfsu.org for more information.

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Online retailer uses unexpected marketing tactic

Relay Foods may be an online retailer, but its main marketing campaign isn’t a digital one.

“Incredibly, we spend the vast majority of our marketing dollars on a team of about 40 people that go door to door and evangelize Relay — so the most offline marketing campaign that you can have, just like the sales people from the 50s,” said co-founder and president Arnie Katz during an Expo East workshop in Baltimore on Thursday.

“We found that works the best. There’s something about our brand that is very nostalgic.”

Danielle Gould, Food + Tech Connect; Aihui Ong, Love With Food; Chad Arnold, Door-to-Door Organics; Arnie Katz, Relay Foods.Katz went as far to say that customers are looking for the “milkman” experience with his company.

While a man attending the panel commented that this is an odd pairing — an e-commerce company with in-person customer recruitment — the more I think about it, the more the model doesn’t seem that strange.

Relay Foods is a premium retailer after all, one that has local, organic and specialty products. The same customers that are attracted to these types of foods also like to feel connected to the companies they buy from. What better way to connect with them than face to face?

In fact, the importance of personal connections came up again when a woman from the audience complimented panelist Chad Arnold, president and CEO of e-commerce retailer Door-to-Door Organics.

The woman said that she loves how friendly the customer service people are on the phone when she calls about an order.

Retailers of all types — brick-and-mortar included — should take note of the way these small online retailers are combining convenience with a personal, friendly touch.

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