The Florida organic citrus sector: results of a 2003-2004 survey

This report updates and builds on the information provided by the ten-year-old survey results and includes interviews with organic citrus handlers (packers and processors) and exiting growers. The purpose of this project is to collect, analyze, and disseminate economically relevant information on the organic citrus sector in Florida. In particular, the research objectives are:

i. Identify existing acreage, production volumes, and market channels for organic citrus varieties;

ii. Characterize organic citrus growers and their farm enterprises;

iii. Obtain a description of typical grove care practices, estimate costs of organic citrus production, and create representative production budgets;

iv. Identify the primary incentives and disincentives for growers to adopt and maintain certified organic citrus production;

v. Document the main sources of information on which organic growers rely and their primary research needs.

These objectives are accomplished through interviews with Florida organic citrus growers, organic citrus handlers (packers, processors, and intermediaries), and exiting growers (growers who gave up their certified organic citrus operations in recent years). The project is intended to benefit the organic citrus industry, agricultural researchers, extension agents, policy makers, and the growers themselves. This research is important for understanding the economics of the organic citrus sector, anticipating and tracking market responses to changing circumstances, assisting growers with budgeting and farm planning, and guiding further research that would be relevant to growers.