Marketing Opportunities For Jamaica’S Grapefruit Industry
Several Caribbean sugar producing countries are actively looking for viable alternatives to recover some of the expected lost revenues due to the WTO (World Trade Organization) ruling that sugar subsidies in the European Union (EU) are illegal. One alternative worth considering is exporting fresh grapefruits to the EU. This marketing opportunity comes about as the United States of America (U.S.), the world’s leading grapefruit producer and exporter (over half of world production), has suffered a series of recent setbacks (citrus canker, citrus greening diseases, and devastating hurricanes) that threaten the future of that industry. Specifically, grapefruit and pomelo production in the U.S. has declined steadily since 2000 (from 2,506 thousand metric tons in 2000 to only 914 thousand metric tons in 2005). Approximately 25% of U.S. fresh grapefruit exports are directed to Europe, which is the largest grapefruit and pomelo import region (nearly 60% of world grapefruit and pomelo imports). Rising grapefruit prices in the EU due to reduced supplies coming from the US and an increase in the demand for the fruit in the EU could create a marketing opportunities for countries such as Jamaica. The paper discusses the state of the Florida citrus industry with particular reference to grapefruits and the marketing prospects for Jamaican grapefruit exports to Europe
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