Agriculture Press Release

October 8, 1999

Crawford Opens Office in China to Promote Citrus Sales

TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford announced today the opening of an office of The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Beijing, China.

The expansion of the Florida Department of Agriculture overseas comes on the heels of an agreement signed between the United States and China last April permitting the sale of fresh American citrus to that country. While the agreement requires specific protocols to be finalized before the first commercial shipment of citrus may be sent, Crawfords move indicates his commitment to see Florida citrus shipped to China by next spring.

"The prospect of truly opening the Chinese market to Florida citrus is huge. We have worked diligently with the United States Department of Agriculture and Office of the United States Trade Representative to implement the agreement, and stand ready to do whatever it takes to see the first commercial shipment go," Crawford said.

The Beijing office of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is headed by Lillian Yuan Zheng. Ms. Zheng recently returned to her native country after receiving her bachelorss degree from the University of Central Florida. In Beijing, she will work with Chinese government officials on the implementation of the citrus agreement and identify channels of distribution for Florida citrus products, as well as other agricultural products from Florida.

"It is essential for us to be there. We could get the green light today, tomorrow or next month. But when we do, we must be ready to assist Florida citrus growers in their effort to reach that market," Crawford said.


For more information:

Matt Dempsey
(850) 488-3022

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