Florida Citrus Exchange
Courtesy Orlando Sentinel
Aerial view of Winter Garden, home of P.C.Peters, president of the Florida Citrus Exchange.
Located midway between the expansive citrus groves of Lake and Orange Counties, Winter Garden
has one of the greatest concentrations of citrus processing and packing activities in Florida.
THE SEALD-SWEET STORY
Seald-Sweet is the master brand of the Florida Citrus Exchange. In September
1954, a sales and promotion subsidiary was created under the name, Seald-
Sweet Sales, Inc. This is the brief story of how these two dynamic organizations
work for the Florida citrus grower in making Seald-Sweet a household name.
Sn this report for the 1955-56 Florida citrus season
we have attempted to accomplish a 2-fold purpose:
(1) To identify and describe the vital functions of the
Florida Citrus Exchange, the State's biggest and oldest
citrus marketing cooperative, and its promotion and
sales subsidiary, Seald-Sweet Sales, Inc., and (2) to
give an up-to-the-minute report of activities during the
Not covered in the report, however, is the fact that
this year demonstrates well how the citrus industry lies
to an almost total extent in the lap of the gods.
There has been a drought unparalleled in over 20
years, and the horrifying threat to the industry of the
dread Mediterranean fruit fly. Added to this was an al-
most unceasing eradication of nematodes. Action on
nature's deterrents and citrus crop destroyers is under-
way. Our General Manager, among others, has taken an
active part in meeting the situation and putting it under
control with man-made devices.
As accessories to the 'unusualness' of the season
were difficult marketing periods and price fluctuations.
One Seald-Sweet grower summed it up with the remark,
'It was another usual season of the unusual.'
SUB-EXCHANGES AND DIRECTORS
Alcoma Packing Company, Inc.
W. H. Clark Fruit Company
Elfers Citrus Growers Assn.
Florence Citrus Growers Assn.
Fort Pierce Growers Assn.
Graves Brothers Company
Hunt Brothers Cooperative
Indian River Sub-Exchange
Lake County Sub-Exchange
Lake Region Sub-Exchange
Lake Region Packing Assn.
North Indian River Sub-Exchange
North Pinellas Sub-Exchange
Orange County Sub-Exchange
Plymouth Citrus Growers Assn.
Polk County Sub-Exchange
Winter Haven Citrus Growers Assn.
John C. Updike
I. J. 1emberton
O. J. Harvey
R. K. Cooper
H. H. Willis
C. G. Wilhoit
D. A. Hunt
A. N. Strong
G. B. Hurlburt
John L. Olson
J. B. Prevatt
J. C. Flake
Alfred A. McKethan
Phil C. Peters
F. W. Moody
Armer C. Johnson
J. P. Ellis
E. S. Horton
A typical monthly meeting of the Board of Directors in the Exchange Building
in Tampa. It is this group which develops policy and guides the Exchange in
its far-flung marketing activities.
PHIL C. PETERS, popular central-Flor-
ida grower and packing house manager,
S: became President and Chairman of the
Board of the Florida Citrus Exchange
on December 8, 1955. Mr. Peters is
1 ; % chairman of the advisory committee of
Florida Citrus Mutual and holds many
other important posts in the Florida
citrus industry .....
J. B. (Babe) PREVATT after serving
almost five consecutive terms as Pres-
ident of the Exchange, was forced to
resign that office on December 8, 1955
J.B. PREVATT because of ill health. Mr. Prevatt is
Past President President of the Lake Region Packing
Association, Tavares, Fla., and continues
as a director on the Exchange Board.
JOHN L. OLSON Is president of Dundee Citrus Growers Association,
Growers Loan and Guaranty Company and a director on the Farm
Credit Board of Columbia, S. C., the Federal Land Bank, Federal
Intermediate Credit Bank and Production Credit Corporation ... .
C. GRAVES WILHOIT is manager of Graves Brothers Company of
Wabasso, president of the Exchange's subsidiary, the Indian River
Citrus Sub-Exchange at Vero Beach; and a director of the Indian
JOHN L. OLSON
First Vice President River Citrus League.. ..
FORD W. MOODY is manager of Palm Harbor Citrus Growers Associ-
ation, and. a director of Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida Citrus Produc-
tion Credit Association, Soil Science Foundation and Pinellas Grow-
ers Association .....
G. B. (Crip) HURLBURT is secretary-manager of Mount Dora Growers
Cooperative, the only Florida director on the board of the International
Apple Association, and a member of the advisory committee of Florida
Citrus Mutual .....
COUNTS JOHNSON is secretary of the Florida Citrus Exchange and
JAMES SAMSON is treasurer-comptroller. Both are also department
heads and their backgrounds are more detailed on Page 5 .....
L.G. WILHUI I
Second Vice President
Third Vice President
Fourth Vice President
JOHN T. LESLEY
General Manager a
JOHN T. LESLEY, general manager of the Florida Citrus Exchange and top
administrative officer of Seald-Sweet Sales, Inc., practically grew up in a citrus
grove. Aggressive and young, Mr. Lesley has provided the leadership necessary
to put the Exchange on top as a marketing giant. Many of his progressive ideas
are steadily revolutionizing marketing practices in the industry. He joined the
Exchange in April 1951 upon the retirement of the late C. C. Commander.
FRED S. JOHNSTON, general sales manager, is a veteran of many years in the
citrus industry. He was appointed assistant sales manager in 1924 and became
general sales manager in June 1938. Although schooled in Law, his life has
COUNTS JOHNSON been spent in citrus sales ...
COUNTS JOHNSON is secretary and general counsel of the Florida Citrus Ex-
change. He joined the Exchange in October 1933 as assistant general counsel
rand became general counsel in May 1935 He was elected secretary upon the
retirement of Mr. O. M. Felix in June 1941 .
JAMES SAMSON is treasurer-comptroller and executive vice-president of Grow-
ers Loan and Guaranty Company. He joined the Exchange in September 1926,
Sand served as assistant to the comptroller until January 1951. He took over the
money reins in June 1951. .
HOWARD N. BARON, export manager, joined the Exchange in September 1954.
JAMES SAMSON A native of Germany, he was educated in Middle East and London schools. He
speaks eight languages fluently. Mr. Baron has successfully introduced Ex-
change products in many markets of the world ...
WALTER J. PAGE, who joined the Exchange in January 1952, is director of
public relations and merchandising. A former newspaperman and wire service
correspondent, he is a Naval veteran of World War II and past president of the
Florida Public Relations Association. .
PAUL C. SARRETT became traffic manager of the Exchange in July 1955.
He is a native Floridian and was educated in Georgia schools. Mr. Sarrett
is believed to be the only citrus traffic manager licensed to practice before
... .... the Interstate Commerce Commission ....
FRED S. JOHNSTON
General Sales Manager
WALTER J. PAGE
IN NORTHERN MARKETS
SNEW YORK: Under the able and aggressive managership of R. C. Mauter, the New
York office handles the biggest volume of fresh citrus fruit of any Exchange
sales branch. Genial 'Rich,' a native New Yorker, is assisted by Tom SIkorski
and Bob Speroni .....
R. C. MASTER WILLIAM WERT
New York Cincinnati
PHILADELPHIA: Serving the Philadelphia market Is Tom Rice, division manager.
This likeable veteran citrus man was recently transferred to Philadelphia from
Buffalo, N.Y., where he had served for many years as district manager of that
"^-E northern Exchange office. .. .
S BOSTON: Boston, second largest office in the Exchange sales system, is man-
aged by Owen E. Folsom. He is assisted by Temple A. F. Allen, Frank Bond, Jr.
and Howard J. Abrahamson ....
THOMAS J. RICE P. W. ECONOMOS
DETROIT: Youthful and handsome Herb MacClaren manages the big Detroit
office. He is the son of the late H.C. MacClaren, Sr. who founded this office
in 1915 and managed it until his sudden death in 1951. Smiling Herb is assis-
ted by Bruce Wales ....
CLEVELAND: R.R. McNamara who manages the Cleveland office, is another
Exchange veteran of many years standing. Mac, hard-working and conscientious,
is widely known and respected in the Cleveland market ....
OWEN E. FOLSOM E. A. PURNHAGEN
Boston St. Louis
Boston PITTSBURGH: Dick Aaron, youthful manager of C.H. Robinson Company, is the
Exchange representative in Pittsburgh. Dick is known for his aggressive selling
and merchandising of Seald-Sweet and Florigold ....
CINCINNATI: The Cincinnati office is managed by Bill Wert, one of the real
'old timers' in the fruit business. Bill started with the Exchange 45 years ago
and has set a blistering sales pace through the years .
H. C. MacCLAREN CHICAGO: Pete Economos, the cordial Greek with the warm smile, is in charge ANDREW FAVA
Detroit of the Chicago office. Pete, who is known as a fireball in the mid-West market,
is assisted by Ralph W. Wagner ....
ST. LOUIS: Smiling Ed Purnhagen is manager of the Exchange's St. Louis branch
office. Another veteran in the fruit business, Ed strives continually to keep
Seald-Sweet the major factor in the St. Louis area's fresh fruit markets.
SBALTIMORE: Andrew Fava of the G. Fava Fruit Co. is Exchange representative
in the Baltimore market. Andy has been a staunch supporter of Seald-Sweet for
R. R. McNAMARA G. H. SOUTHWICK
Cleveland many years, and has done much toward increasing Exchange tonnage here. .. Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS: If there ever was a hard working fruit-man it's Howard South- '.
wick, district manager in Grand Rapids. Howard, who eats, sleeps and breathes
Seald-Sweet, is one of the most aggressive salesmen in the Exchange system. .
BUFFALO: The only woman in the Exchange sales network is Mrs. M.E. Caul-
field, a veteran of many campaigns in the fruit business. She was named dis-
trict manager in the Buffalo market this year when Tom Rice was transferred
RICHARD AARON to Philadelphia. .. .. M. E. CAULFIELD
H. G. GUMPRECHT, Jr. is assistant general sales
manager and 'dean' of the Exchange sales department.
He has been with the Exchange since 1920, and his
sales territory consists of Eastern Canada, New Eng-
land, New York, part of Pennsylvania, Baltimore, and
larger accounts scattered throughout the nation. .
SBOB FOX joined the sales staff coming from the Tex-
sun Citrus Exchange in 1951. A veteran of 16 years
H.G. GUMPRECHT,Jr., in citrus sales, Fox's territory includes all of the West
part of the mid-West, and Western Canada ....
DON LINS, one of the younger salesmen with three
years service, handles the mid-Atlantic and mid-West -
BOB GOING whose experience with chain and independent supermarkets
dates back many years, is in charge of all sales to chains and larger re-
ceivers in the Southeast.....
CHARLIE FELIX whose territory consists of all the Southeastern states,
is a veteran of thirty-three years with the Exchange .....
J. T. WILLIFORD has been connected with the citrus industry for 17 years
B T in one capacity or another. His sales area is the mid-South .....
ROBERT M. FOX
GEORGE BUCKLEY, a 15-year employee of the Exchange, splits his time
between specialty sales of limes and avocados and placement duties be-
tween nine affiliates and the sales department .....
GEORGE WILLIAMS who started with the Exchange in 1922, is in charge
of booking trucks where the Exchange is requested to make such arrange-
ments. George books about 3,000 trucks a year ..
SI DINGFELDER and RALPH BOESE, two placement specialists, act as
W. R. GOING liaison between the salesmen and the packing houses. Boese has been with
_..__. the Exchange 11 years and Dingfelder, two years .....
J. T. WILLIFORD
CHARLES E. FELIX
D. M. LINS
RALPH W. BOESE
Slices in general for the current season have
S been the best since World War II. The Florida
Citrus Exchange enjoyed a very successful market-
Good quality grapefruit brought reasonably good
prices, while those of poor quality resulted in lower
returns. Temples fared reasonably well. Tangerine
prices were the highest in many years.
Early and mid-season orange prices were stabi-
lized early in the season when processors bought
a volume at $1.25 on-the-tree. This tended to put a
floor on prices and higher value was placed on
these varieties for the balance of the shipping
On February 29, 1956, Valencia orange prices
were $3.00 on 150s, $3.25 on 176s, $3.50 on 216s
and $3.75 on 250s and 288s. This price prevailed
until April 19, 1956 when the market advanced 25
cents per box across the board, an increase of from
50 to 75 cents over last year's prices.
Another 25 cents per box rise was announced
on April 30, and from all indications, these prices
will hold until early summer. Light supplies, at that
time, should call for another boost.
There was a wide gap between the end of the
mid-season crop and the beginning of the Valencia
shipping season. Concentrate plants were not in
operation to draw off excess supplies. In spite of
this condition, however, high prices prevailed. In
addition, March and April were extremely dry
months and many of the citrus areas were badly hit
by severe droughts, forcing many crops to be moved
sooner than otherwise anticipated. Growers refused
to panic and are being rewarded for their patience.
Export to European markets of approximately one
million boxes of Florida oranges and 200,000 boxes
of grapefruit through May 1, has been helpful in
maintaining our structure.
In spite of more fruit going to processors and
less to the fresh fruit market, we have had a sub-
stantial gain in private sales. We have sold fruit
in 44 states and 8 Canadian provinces. We have
also had a substantial gain in sales direct to custo-
mers, thereby decreasing sales through brokers.
This has been another year when shipments of
fruit through fresh channels were hard pressed to
compete with processing prices. However, the ag-
gressive sales program carried on by your sales
department should assure growers of returns com-
paring favorably with those of processed.
S* .* *. *
Bill Strickland (left) and Harold Worden
the two popular and efficient Florida
district managers, swap 'trade' talk. r
FLORIDA DISTRICT OFFICES
7 he Florida Citrus Exchange, in addition to the Tampa headquarters, maintains two
district offices in Florida. These Sub-Exchanges serve in a liaison capacity be-
ween the sales department in Tampa and our packing affiliates throughout the State.
Our Vero Beach office, headquarters for the Indian River Citrus Sub-Exchange which
packs citrus under the renowned Florigold and Flo brands, is located on U.S. Hwy 1.
The Sub-Exchange, organized in 1909 with four small affiliates now boasts a member-
ship of 14 and markets 55 per cent of all fruit shipped from the Indian River area.
This office is under the management of W.G. (Bill) Strickland, popular former profes-
sional baseball player, longtime citrus grower and packing house official, and direc-
tor of Florida Citrus Mutual.
The Central Florida Citrus Sub-Exchange which supervises grading and packing
of Seald-Sweet by all Exchange affiliates other than Indian River, is located in the
Van Skiver Building at Winter Haven. This office is managed by Harold Worden, like-
able veteran citrusman and former manager of the Avon Park Citrus Growers Associa-
tion. The Sub-Exchange was organized in 1909 at Bartow, but was moved to Winter
Haven at the beginning of the 1932-33 season. Grading and packing of some 29 affili-
ates in interior Florida are supervised by Mr. Worden and his assistant, M.L.Sands.
The ultra-modern offices of the Indian
River Citrus Sub-Exchange at Vero Beach
Powerful Seald-Sweet and Florigold advertising ap-
peared in every major market in the Nation. The big
ad program was formulated during conferences in New
York, such as that shown at the right. Discussing the
campaign are R.C.Mauter, New York division mana-
ger; Richard and Joseph Jacobs of Joseph Jacobs Ad-
vertising, Inc.; and Walter J. Page, director of public
relations and merchandising.
ADVERTISING & PUBLIC RELATIONS
Slorida Citrus Exchange and its Indian River sub-
sidiary, Florigold, carried to the housewives of
the Nation the largest and most comprehensive ad-
vertising campaign in its history.
Television, radio and extensive newspaper cov-
erage brought the Seald-Sweet and Florigold fresh
citrus message to millions of consumers in five
major markets and a host of smaller distributing
points. A variety of colorful point of sale display
material supplemented the other media.
Public and trade relations were continued as a
major function of the overall advertising and mer-
chandising departments. This function serves to
coordinate the entire program.
TRAINED DEALER-SERVICE MEN
IIICH IF The top two pictures reveal training necessary for success in mer-
IrAMI I r chandising Seald-Sweet citrus fruit. The retail display below suc-
cessfully moved big quantities of fruit -- the direct result of Seald-
Sweet's dealer-service training.
This year our Merchandising Division brought 387
carefully planned promotions into 38 states in a
strenuous effort to create greater demand for Seald-
Sweet. An average increase of 272 per cent in retail
sales resulted from these spectacular promotions.
In addition, our men made 46.6 calls on customers
and potential buyers per week per man, an increase of
one call per man over last year. Personal calls on the
trade is an important function of this division, many re-
sulting in successful promotions and the securing of
many new customers.
Each man averaged almost 65 promotions, a truly re-
markable record for a single season and an increase of
14 promotions per man over last year's record.
.Our division travelled some 179,226 miles, distribu-
ted 154,700 pieces of advertising display material, and
;U used 65 demonstrators in getting the Seald-Sweet story
across to housewives. Seald-Sweet fresh juice machines
r were used in a total of 46 promotions.
One of this season's outstanding promotions was
staged by Merchandiser Pat McKibben in Oklahoma City.
Football fever was running high after it was announced
that Oklahoma University and Maryland would meet in
r the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day. A 65-store promo-
tion followed tieing Seald-Sweet oranges to the Oklaho-
ma 'Sooners.' This amazing gimmick produced heavy
retail sales and moved several cars of Seald-Sweet fruit.
he 1955-56 season was an extremely busy
one for the Legal Department of the Florida
Citrus Exchange with its General Counsel hand-
ling all legal matters for the Exchange and affili-
ated organizations -- Seald-Sweet Sales, Inc.,
Growers Loan and Guaranty Company, Exchange
Supply and Service Cooperative, and, as well,
discharging the duties incident to the office of
secretary of all these organizations.
Much time and effort were spent in connection
with hearings in Washington, D.C. and Florida in
the Federal Trade Commission's brokerage case
against the Exchange.
Your General Counsel attended the annual
meeting of the National Council of Farmer Co-op-
eratives held in Los Angeles, January 16 19,
1956, and was again appointed to membership on
the Legal and Tax Committee and has worked
very closely in the compilation of information
that will be beneficial to cooperative organiza-
tions in proposed Treasury regulations on capi-
tal retains, etc.
Counts Johnson, well-known in citrus circles
and often referred to as the 'dean' of agri-
cultural cooperative attorneys, studies re-
cent changes in industry statutes.
Traffic Manager Paul C. Sarrett and assistant, Charles Alloway, route hundreds
of cars each year transporting Seald-Sweet citrus fruits to all parts of the Nation.
ur Traffic Department was very active this
season in rate adjustments, checking rates
and rail schedule changes, booking trucks and
handling export shipments.
The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and sev-
eral of their connecting lines established expe-
dited service on all Florida perishables from
points on the ACL to a number of Eastern and
mid-Western destinations effective October 31,
1955. This has proved highly beneficial to the
citrus industry. The Seaboard Air Line and the
Florida East Coast Railroads failed to do like-
wise, causing considerable confusion from a
During the period from September 1, 1955 to
April 30, 1956, some 462 claims amounting to
$27,115.58 were filed against rail carriers for
market decline due to late arrivals, overcharg-
ges, loss and damage, etc. Collections amoun-
ted to $27,043.06.
With regard to transportation from Florida
to Eastern and mid-Western destinations trucks
appear to be in the most favorable position.
Railroads, since 1951, have been steadily los-
ing fresh citrus movement to trucks because of
continual rate increases. This was further ac-
celerated on March 7, 1956 when rail rates
again increased six per cent with a maximum of
six cents per 100 pounds. Added to that was an
increase in refrigeration charges amounting to
15%. This was effective April 17, 1956.
Through April 30 of this year, 58.1% of the
State citrus movement was handled by truck
compared to only 41.9% by rail.
This should point out to rail carriers that if
they are to enjoy a greater percentage of citrus
movement, realistic reductions in their rates
Above: H.N.Baron, Director of the Export Division
7 he Export Division, organized in September, 1954,
has successfully introduced fresh citrus, single
strength and frozen concentrated juices in practically
every major market in the free world today. We have
pioneered, within this short time, the first export order
of fresh avocados ever to leave the United States. We
also shipped the first shipment of oranges ever to go
to the Belgian Congo and have shipped single strength
juices to Singapore, a market formerly belonging to
Seald-Sweet juices have been exhibited at the well-
known and popular Leipzig Fair without cost to our or-
ganization. We have signed freight contracts with
many steamship conferences thereby assuring our for-
eign customers of minimum freight rates.
As a result of this aggressive export sales program
our products now are being consumed in The Nether-
lands, Luxemburg, Belgium, France, Austria, Germany,
Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, England, Ireland, Scot-
land, Asia, Africa, The Caribbean, Central and South
America, and the Far East.
Frank Bond, Boston Grace Doddy, Chicago H.G
Our Distinguished Honor Role includes
the six employes whose photographs
appear above. These people have all
served the Exchange or one of its affili-
ates for over thirty-five years.
Irma Leonard, Tampa J.D.Murdock, Exchange
The following 19 people have given from 25 to 35 years of service to the Exchange
and its affiliated companies. They also are included on our Employee Honor Roll.
*** *** ** **
Howard J. Abrahamson, Boston
Elmer W. Blesi, Cincinnati
Marion E. Caulfield, Buffalo
Blanch bossel, Tampa
Peter W. Economos, Chicago
Charles E. Felix, Tampa
Owen E. Folsom, Boston
Ruth Franks, Growers Loan
Gene F. Gudgen, Tampa
Ruby Iredell, Tampa
.Gumprecht, Jr., Tampa
Fred S. Johnston, Tampa
Helen Kelley, Boston
R. R. McNamara, Cleveland
Grace O'Hearn, Tampa
Grace Pemberton, Tampa
James Samson, Growers Loan
Cecil G. Thompson, Tampa
Faye Walker, Tampa
George R. Williams, Tampa
Exchange Employes Serving Over 5 Years
35 to 40 years
25 to 34 years
15 to 24 years
10 to 14 years
5 to 9 years
he Florida Citrus Exchange, like all progressive organiza-
tions of its size today, has recognized the value of the indi-
vidual gainfully employed and has provided many benefits for
stability and security of the employee. Among these are the pen-
sion plan, inaugurated on March 16, 1945, life insurance, health
and accident insurance, paid vacations, and many other fringe
benefits. To date, 17 employes have been pensioned under the
plan and many others will follow within the next few years.
e** *** e** e**
James Samson keeps his hands on the financial pulse of
the Exchange. He is Treasurer-Comptroller and Executive
Vice President of the Growers Loan and Guaranty Company.
7he function of this company is to extend sea-
sonal operating credit to member associations
and crop production loans to their growers. The in-
terest rates on both types of loans compare most
favorably with other similar institutions.
The Growers Loan and Guaranty Company on
April 30, 1956 completed its thirty-ninth year of
service to the Exchange membership. During this
period loans approximating $80,000,000 have been
Loans outstanding April 30, 1956 were approx-
imately $1,500,000. For the previous year they
The company continues to be in excellent fi-
nancial condition, thereby making it possible to
continue the same rates of interest that were in
effect a year ago even though other financial in-
stitutions have in most instances raised their
rates. This is another service the shippers and
grower members of the Florida Citrus Exchange
have found advantageous to use.
For the fiscal year ended April 30, 1956 the
Growers Loan and Guaranty Company advanced
approximately $3,100,000 to shippers and growers
for operating and production purposes.
Table Showing Loans for the Last Six Years
---- (as of April 30 each year) -----
1956 $ 3,111,563
EXCHANGE SUPPLY & SERVICE COOPERATIVE
he gross sales for the fiscal year ending
April 30, 1956 were $2,568,306.65, approx-
2% higher than sales for the period ending April
30, 1955. We had hoped to have a much larger
gain than this. However, there was quite a lapse
of time between the end of the midseason orange
movement and the beginning of the Valencia
movement. This resulted in a sharp decline of
sales at a time when we ordinarily could expect
our business to be at its best.
As was the case last year, there was no regu-
lar pattern of increase in the commodities which
we sell. Some showed very serious declines,
while others moved in much greater volume than Above: Guy Howerton, manager of the Exchange Supply and
ever before. Service Cooperative. Below: a few of the supplies handled
by this service-cooperative for member packing houses.
The movement of corrugated cartons as fresh
fruit shipping containers increased greatly over
last year. However, a newcomer moved into the
export field and virtually eliminated the corru-
gated carton as a container for overseas ship- '
ments. This new package is the Bruce Box, ',,1
which sells at a price less than that of the export
carton and has apparently done a good job of
delivering the fruit to the foreign destinations. .
Organized in 1916 as the Exchange Supply
Company, this firm has been in continuous oper-
ation since that time. It was re-incorporated, how-
ever, in January 1949 as the Exchange Supply
and Service Cooperative, Incorporated.
This is a very familiar sight throughout the Flor- Courtesy Orlando Sentinel
ida Citrus Belt. Groves like these stretch in
orderly miles along all the highways.
SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK
A4ithough we are closing another very profitable season
for the grower, it has been one of many contradictions
and, as yet, unanswered questions. Most of the skepticism
revolved around whether or not the U.S.D.A. orange estimate
-c In March, one major concentrator stated oranges were
worth only $1.60 per box on the tree. Most growers dis-
agreed with his position with the result that to May 1, the
the average delivered-in price for all concentrate oranges
"' / was $2.17 and the present market, $2.85 to $3.00.
-The Government crop estimate was trimmed 2,000,000
6. boxes on May 10 and many believe there will have to be
an additional reduction.
The price of finished orange concentrate remained stea-
dy at $1.35 per dozen 6-ounce cans until May 23 when the
Industry went to $1.45. Concentrate prices have fluctuated
violently in recent years, reflecting the opinion of a few
that 'give-aways' were a necessary merchandising tool to
'I ~successful marketing of their product. It is hoped that the
Continued on the following page.
stability shown this year will temper this type of thinking in the
The fresh fruit market has remained firm at competitive prices
all season. Although a reduced volume of oranges went into fresh
marketing channels, there was a considerable increase of grape-
fruit. The Florida Citrus Exchange shipments, reflecting the
State's reduction, were down, but our f.o.b. volume both percent-
agewise and in total volume, was the largest in history. We are
most optimistic over the fresh outlook and are undertaking many
experiments in an effort to assure the consumer of better merchan-
dise. This will be the subject of a later report.
We have recounted to you previously the serious threat to the
industry of 'slow decline.' When the burrowing nematode was def-
initely identified as the cause, it was also determined the only
control was to push out the infected trees and fumigate the soil.
The State Plant Board with the assistance of the U.S. Department
of Agriculture has been charged with this responsibility, financed
in the main by a $2,000,000 State appropriation. Thus far 1,145
acres have been treated.
The latest threat to our industry is the Mediterranean fruit fly,
discovered in Miami on April 21, 1956. It has now been found as
far north as Lake Wales, dashing all hopes that it could be con-
tained in the non-commercial areas in South Florida. The eradi-
cation of this pest will be a long and expensive process. Its de-
struction in the late 20's cost $7,500,000 and is considered a
modern miracle. Present estimate of costs run as high as twenty-
five million dollars with a $9,000,000 outlay indicated in the next
In spite of all this, the outlook for next year is good. Our
canned inventories should not be too heavy and with the citrus
industry in Spain badly crippled from a devastating freeze last
winter, our exports should be substantial. This, coupled with not
too heavy a crop, make next year's prospects look favorable.
The house that aggressive selling and merchandising built This is
the Florida Citrus Exchange headquarters in Tampa, Florida, from
which all sales of Seald-Sweet and Florigold citrus fruits are made
throughout the nation, Canada and abroad.