Agriculture Press Release

April 12, 2000

Crawford Announces Major Florida Citrus Sales in China

TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today announced that 32 containers of fresh citrus from Florida, constituting nearly 1.3 million pounds, have been sold in mainland China since he returned from that country after carrying in the first commercial shipment two weeks ago.

"We are extremely pleased to be moving as quickly as we are in getting our world-class citrus into China," Crawford said. "It is proving to be very popular."

The data on sales was disclosed at a dinner earlier today in Beijing, which was hosted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Department of Citrus for about 50 Chinese importers, distributors and supermarket chain representatives.

The dinner was attended by LaVerne Brabant, Director of the United States Agricultural Trade Office, and Suzanne Hale, Minister-Counselor for Agricultural Affairs in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, among other guests.

It followed a major trade show in that city in which Florida citrus products were displayed and were found to be very popular, according to Florida Department of Agriculture officials attending the show.

China gave the United States the go-ahead to begin shipping fresh citrus into China on March 22, and Crawford immediately traveled to Beijing to bring in the first retail shipment of U.S. citrus to that country.

Research conducted by Crawfords office and the Department of Citrus indicate that up to 300 million of Chinas 1.4 billion residents will be potential customers for Florida citrus.

"The potential for our industry is vast in China, and we will be doing all that we can to capitalize on this historic opportunity," Crawford said.


For more information:
Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022

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