Marketing Future of Florida Citrus Crops J. C. Chase, Jacksonville What the future has in store for us is Such a marketing agency is then compe a most fascinating subject for speculative tent to advise growers with some degree fancy. It is the part of wisdom to con of accuracy as to what things or condi sider the future as it may affect the mar tions influence an increase or decrease in keting of the coming crops of Florida cit that normal consumption, such as crops rus fruits. None of us are able to surely of competitive fruits, competitive food, penetrate the conditions of next year, to changes in buying power due to fluctua say nothing of the next decade. What tions of prosperity of consumers. more distant seasons have laid up for us Demand for the products often affects involves so much imagination and specu values to a greater extent than an in lation that it need cause us no loss of crease or decrease in the supply and is al sleep. ways a vital factor in controlling values. A variety of elements enter into the It is impractical and would be a violation proper consideration of this subject of of both law and moral rights for pro marketing future crops of Florida citrus ducers to combine to control and regulate fruit and the bugaboo of overproduction. production or acreage. The Providence The principal factors in producing and of God only may and should regulate the marketing all perishable products are size of crops. Consuming demand is reg supply, demand and weather conditions, ulated by weather conditions, competitive and frequently weather is the controlling fruits, interests of dealers,"such as jobbers one as weather conditions affect both sup and retailers or the energy with which ply and demand. Climatic conditions in these dealers display and push the sale of the producing territory increase or dimin the product. ish supplies and in the markets favorable The dealers' interests can best be se weather stimulates a demand while un cured by a stable market, which reduces favorable weather hinders distribution and the chance of loss from market fluctua frequently turns a limited quantity into tions and by honest and attractive pack an over supply. of healthy, sound fruit. Stability of mar The distribution that is of real service ket can be secured by so regulating ship to the producers is the one that makes ments as to approximately fit the sup proper surveys as to the normal maximum ply to demand. Supply can always be and minimum per capita consumption of closely estimated by the use of intelligent the wholfe country and the normal con effort, but the prospective demand can sumption during each part of the season. only be based on what is the natural, nor- 65 66 FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY mal demand and by then deducting or will not eat immature or unappetizing adding the effect of other influences such fruit. The consumer today is rapidly as advertising supply and value of com learning what to buy and what to leave petitive foods; trade sentiment and abnor alone. When growers learn to grow only mal weather. Weather cannot be pre good eating and undiseased fruit, and dicted but an intelligent study of the packers ancj distributors learn not to han other items is always important. dle fruit known to be fruit of poor carry Unquestionably the Volstead Act has ing quality, and try to represent it as good greatly increased the normal consumption stock, a great advance will be made. It is of fruit as it has increased the demand important that growers remember many for ill luxuries and for better homes. The consumers buy by the eye, inaking it nec enormous amount of money spent for li essary to produce fruit of good appear ance. quor, especially by the great middle class, now goes for the better things of life. Unhampered transportation, combined Some competent authorities estimate that with equitable freight rates, are impera the normal consumption of fresh fruits tive. Well equipped railroads every and vegetables has been increased from where that can insure rapid transit of our twenty per cent to thirty per cent by the fruits to all markets, are vital to the cer Volstead Act. tainty of its proper distribution. The whole future prosperity of the Florida The maximum of normal consumption citrus industry is dependent on the ability of Florida citrus fruits will not be known of railroads to render good services. or passed until such a time as we cannot Good transportation service to perish sell our whole crop of good fruit at a able products begins with equipment, and profit. equipment means cars especially construct The crying need now is for growers ed to give proper carriage either under and distributors* to recognize the fact that ventilation or refrigeration to the prod consumers want only good, sound fruit uct with which it is loaded. of the best and most palatable varieties. Equitable freight rates, lower and Quality starts at the tree. It behooves adapted to give wider distribution to Flor the Florida citrus growers to utilize agen ida citrus products, are necessary to the cies placed at their disposal by the State successful marketing of otir rapidly in and Federal Departments of Agriculture creasing volume. Nothing would tend in controlling and overcoming diseases to quicker to stem the tide of adverse criti tree and fruit. cism than immediate and voluntary action Consumers have become such, habitual on the part of transportation companies users of fruits that they are educating in meeting and co-operating with growers themselves as to the quality of fruit and and distributors in solving some of the more and more will they discriminate on problems that are essential to the prosper quality. They will refuse to buy of eat ity of all. diseased or unsound fruits, and dealers A bugaboo is defined as anything imag will then rightly refuse to handle it. They inary—to excite needless fear. The ob- FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY ff ject of this paper is not to ring an alarm in Florida. However, in .spite of con- bell or cry wolf, but to look facts fairly stantly increasing production, the past few in the lace. The cry of over production years will go on record as prosperous to met the writer forty years ago when he average growers. We must expect lean first came to Florida, and was killed by as well as fat seasons, bending our efforts the freeze of 1894-95 and succeeding cold always to the production of fine grade winters. The bugaboo of over production fruit of the varieties commanding the met the writer in California in 1896 and highest prices and occupying a place out is still there—and has come to life again of reach of any bugaboo.
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