Despite Challenges, Florida Citrus Still a Strong Economic Force 

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Despite challenges from diseases, land development trends and extreme weather, Florida’s citrus industry contributed $6.935 billion to the state’s economy in 2020–21. That’s a conclusion in a recent University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) report, 2020–2021 Economic Contributions of the Florida Citrus Industry. The report estimated the economic contributions for the most recent citrus marketing season for which data are available.

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Citrus juice manufacturing remains the largest factor in the overall economic contributions of the industry, per the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program’s (EIAP) report. Contributing to the $6.935 billion total are:

  • $5.334 billion from citrus juice manufacturing
  • $1.425 billion from citrus fruit production
  • $177 million for fresh citrus marketing

The citrus industry supports a total of 32,542 full-time and part-time jobs in the state. Total value-added contributions, estimated at $2.841 billion, represent the industry’s contribution to gross state product. Labor income contributions amounted to $1.606 billion, representing earnings by employees and business owners throughout Florida’s economy.

Citrus’ support of local communities remains significant as well, with total state and local tax contributions of $151 million.

“The estimates for the 2020–21 citrus season are particularly important because it can be thought of as a baseline season prior to the multiple adverse weather-related events that the industry endured in 2022,” said Christa Court, director of EIAP and assistant professor of regional economics. Those weather events were two cold snaps and two hurricanes in the main citrus-producing areas of the state.

The economic contributions were largest in the agriculture (fruit production) and manufacturing (juice processing) sectors. However, the overall citrus industry also has significant contributions in many other sectors due to supply-chain relationships and household spending of income.

Estimates of the regional economic contributions of the industry include multiplier effects that measure the economic activity in other sectors supported through supply-chain spending and the spending of income directly or indirectly associated with the sale of Florida citrus products.

The report was sponsored by the Florida Department of Citrus.

Source: UF/IFAS