“The Anticalifornia”. Family farming, prices and quality product in the Spanish citrus industry (1840-1936)
In recent times a great deal of attention is being paid to the repercussions that the appearance of California as a new supplier of “Mediterranean products” had over the traditional producer countries located on the Mediterranean rim. The paper focuses on orange farming and starts with a comparison between the California and the Spanish citrus industries. While the former specialised in the production of high quality fruit, in the latter groves generated huge amounts of lower quality and cheaper oranges. The paper investigates why the Spanish growers – chiefly small and middle farmers – followed this line, and looks into the results of this kind of behaviour. It concludes that the methods used by Spanish farmers enabled them to resist the competition from California quite well, and that orange farming was a very profitable business in Spain during the period that is studied.
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