Climate and economic competitiveness: Florida freezes and the global citrus processing industry
- 340 Downloads
Casual observers of the impacts associated with four recent freezes in Florida's citrus producing areas might be inclined to agree with an assessment by Miami Herald reporters that these freezes had caused the ‘king of citrus’ to be toppled from its throne, enabling Brazil to take its place. Research on the citrus industry, however, reveals that the impacts of these recent freezes only explain part of the story of the interaction between climate variability and the relationship between the citrus industries of Florida and Brazil. Climate characteristics and their variability have directly as well as indirectly affected the economic competitiveness of citrus producers whose output is in large measure climate-dependent. Climate variability has had direct impacts on Florida's citrus industry by adversely affecting the productivity of citrus groves in some areas, by altering growers' perceptions of freeze probabilities and, occasionally, by suddenly reducing output, thus elevating the price that consumers must pay for that commodity. Indirectly, competition can be affected by climate as a potential producer identifies a weakness in the supply system of an existing industry and seeks to ‘fill the gap’.
Brazil's involvement in the toppling of ‘King Citrus’ began not in the early 1980s (as a result of the four freezes in the past six years), but in 1962 as a result of a major freeze in that year, one that sharply increased FCOJ prices by reducing Florida's output. It was then that the climate had an impact on the economic competitiveness of the citrus industry. The records document the steady, almost meteoric, rise in Brazilian FCOJ production and exports. Subsequent freezes only served to abet a process that had been well underway two decades before the recent devastating freezes.
As for Florida's ability to continue and perhaps expand its key role in the global citrus economy, the recent freezes do not appear to have fatally damaged that. Rather, those freezes have reawakened Florida's citrus producers to the fact that they are involved in a climate-sensitive industry and have reminded them that the potential for freeze-related problems is never far away. That reawakening has sparked interest in developing hardier citrus varieties, more effective freeze protection methods, and better ways to hedge economically against freeze impacts to the industry.
KeywordsClimate Variability Supply System Potential Producer Processing Industry Climate Characteristic
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Brey, J.: 1985, ‘Changing Patterns in Florida Citriculture, 1965–1980’. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison.Google Scholar
- Carlton, K. and Smith, W.: 1984, ‘Freeze Recovery for Florida Citrus’, Extension Review, December 12–13.Google Scholar
- Central Florida Freeze Recovery Task Force: 1985, ‘Citrus Freeze Update - Summary Report: A Producer Assessment of Freeze Damage, Future Intentions and Information Needs Resulting From January 1985 Freeze’, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.Google Scholar
- Chen, E.: 1984, ‘Long-Term Climate Trend’, in Cold Protection Guide, pp. 140–143. Lake-Orange Extension Service, Central Florida Freeze Recovery Task Force, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.Google Scholar
- Chen, E.: 1985, ‘Minimum Temperature Change and Freeze Probabilities in Florida: 1925–1984’, in Cold Protection Guide, 1985 Revision, pp. S1-S5. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.Google Scholar
- Cohen, R.: 1987, ‘Citrus King: Brazil's Jose Cutrale, Helped by Coca-Cola is Taking on Florida’, The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, January 22.Google Scholar
- Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service: 1982, ‘Florida Agricultural Statistics, Commercial Citrus Inventory’, Orlando. Fla.Google Scholar
- Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service: 1985, ‘Florida Agricultural Statistics, Citrus Summary’, Orlando. Fla.Google Scholar
- Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service: 1986, ‘Florida Agricultural Statistics, Commercial Citrus Inventory’, Orlando, Fla.Google Scholar
- Florida Department of Citrus, Economic Research Department: 1985a, ‘The Economic Value of the Florida Citrus Industry, Economic Research Report’, ERR 85-1, Gainesville, Fla.Google Scholar
- Florida Department of Citrus, Economic Research Department: 1985b, Florida Citrus Outlook 1985–86 Season, Working Paper Series’, Gainesville, Fla.Google Scholar
- Glantz, M. and Katz R.: 1987, ‘African Drought and Its Impacts: Revived Interest in a Recurrent Phenomenon’, Desertification Control Bulletin 14, 23–32.Google Scholar
- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: 1985, ‘Cold Protection Guide’, University of Florida.Google Scholar
- Muraro, R. and Fairchild, G.: 1985, ‘Economic Factors Affecting Postfreeze Production Decisions in the Florida Citrus Industry’, Proceedings of the Florida State Horticulture Society 98, 65–70.Google Scholar
- Parsons, L.: 1987, ‘Impact of Recent Severe Freezes on Florida Citrus’, Conference Proceedings, Symposium on Climate Change, New Orleans.Google Scholar
- Polopolus, L. and Gunter, D.: 1985, ‘Natural Disasters, Competitive Market Forces, and the Florida Orange Juice Industry’, Florida Food and Resource Economics, May–June, No. 64. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Gainesville, Fla.Google Scholar
- Powe, C. and Langham, M.: 1980, ‘Toward a Policy Testing Model for the Florida Orange Industry’, Technical Bulletin 815, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Gainesville, Fla.Google Scholar
- Shepard, L.: 1986, ‘Cartelization of the California-Arizona Orange Industry, 1934–1981’, The Journal of Law and Economics 29, 83–123.Google Scholar
- Shultz, G. and Dam, K.: 1977, Economic Policy Beyond the Headlines, W. W. Norton and Co., Inc., New York.Google Scholar
- United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service: 1980, ‘Brazil's Orange Juice Industry, FAS-M-295’, Washington D.C., April.Google Scholar
- United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service: 1986, ‘Brazil Citrus, FHORT 4–86’. Washington D.C.Google Scholar
- United States International Trade Commission: 1983, ‘Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice From Brazil, Determination of the Commission in Investigation No. 701-TA-184 (Final) Together With the Information Obtained in the Investigation, USTIC Publication 1406’, Washington D. C.Google Scholar
- Whitefield, M.: 1984, ‘83 Christmas Turning Into Big Gift for Brazil’, Miami Herald, October, 1.Google Scholar
- Winterling, G.: 1984, ‘Freeze of '83 ... and the Effects: A Major Shift in Florida's Citrus Belt’, Weatherwise 37, 6, 305–306.Google Scholar