Information about issues that are important to the Florida citrus industry are included on this page. This is information about diseases, pests, regulatory, research and other information that involves some kind of public discourse.
Good Agricultural Practices for Florida Citrus
Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) refer to preharvest practices (e.g., in the field, or before the farm gate) that are established to prevent, minimize, or eliminate contamination and hazards to human health. Essential components of the GAPs process include careful planning, implementation, and documentation of required steps and procedures that together analyze and minimize risks imposed by biological, chemical, and physical hazards.
Commodity-Specific Florida Citrus Safety Guidelines
The purpose of this document is to assemble relevant reference guideline materials for use by Florida citrus growers in developing food safety procedures, processes and practices. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) states that “Owners, operators, or agents in charge of domestic or foreign facilities that manufacture/process, pack, or hold food for consumption in the U.S. are required to register the facility with the FDA1.” Farms are exempt from registration; however, their identity is preserved by rules related to product traceability and record keeping.
Example Food Safety Plan
Many growers have requested a written example of a food safety plan with good agricultural practices. This example plan is intended to demonstrate how a fictitious Florida citrus operation might approach this issue, and the types of records that may apply.
Citrus Greening and Canker Diseases
Citrus trees and crops face serious threats from infectious diseases, especially citrus greening or huanglongbing (HLB). This disease reduces production and destroys the economic value of fruit. The spread and cause of HLB are associated with a phloem-feeding insect (Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diapharina citri) and a fastidious bacterium (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus).
Labor and Production
Florida citrus growers remain concerned about adequate labor for harvesting crops. they work with other industry organizations to work toward a legal, stable and available workforce.
Markets and Trade
The United States Department of Agriculture produces a newsletter covering citrus world markets and trade.
FCOJ Futures are traded on the New York Board of Trade under sticker symbol OJ. It is traded in cents and hundredths of cents per pound. One FCOJ contract of the NYBOT is 15,000 pounds of orange juice solids.
Government and Legislative
The Florida citrus industry has a long tradition of cooperation with government, legislative and non-government entities. This document, published by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, provides an excellent overview of how this aspect of the citrus industry works.
Environment, Water and Weather
Florida citrus growers produce crops using environmentally-sound practices. These practices include following Best Management Practices (BMPs), Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and good practices for water conservation and land use.