Marketing Future of Florida Citrus Crops by mirit35

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									      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-
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 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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