According to the 2011-12 Florida Agriculture Statistics Services (FASS) Citrus Summary, slightly more than 69.5 million citrus trees are grown on nearly 531,500 acres in Florida. During the 2011-12 season, Florida harvested 170.9 million boxes of citrus, representing about 65 percent of total U.S. citrus production. Of the citrus harvested, 90 percent was processed into juice and the remainder was sold as fresh fruit. In addition to providing juice, processed citrus was used to produce other by-products, such as oils, fragrances, flavorings, and animal feed.
The preliminary on-tree value of the 2011-12 citrus crop is estimated at $1.35 billion, a 1 percent decrease from the previous season’s revised final value. Preliminary value is based on the part of the crop priced at harvest, which accounts for all of the fresh fruit, and about 40 percent of processed fruit.
Employment and Taxes
The citrus industry, directly and indirectly, generates roughly 76,000 full time and part time jobs. In addition to jobs, the industry makes an important contribution to economic activity within Florida each year. The total impact of citrus in Florida’s economy is approximately $9 billion a year.
Packing, Processing, and Transportation
Most citrus is trucked to packinghouses or processing plants throughout the state. Approximately 40-45 citrus packinghouses and 15-20 citrus processing plants have operated in Florida in recent years. Eventually, planes, trains, ships, or trucks will transport the juice or fresh fruit to domestic or international markets.
Though the industry’s most important market is domestic, exports play a major role in the industry’s viability and Florida’s economy. Fresh fruit exports totaled 9.8 million 4/5 bushel cartons, weighing about 45 pounds each, during the 2011-12 season. Canadian shipments account for most exports of Florida oranges and specialty fruit, and Japan receives most of the grapefruit. In addition, 15.3 million gallons of frozen concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) and 3.9 million gallons of frozen concentrate grapefruit juice (FCGJ) were shipped out of the U.S. in 2011-12.