JBT will be one of the sponsors of this year’s Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference at Bonita Springs, FL, where the company will be highlighting systems and solutions that can help producers in the state get the most juice out of citrus greening-affected crops during what is undoubtedly a challenging time for the sector.
At the event, which takes place from June 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point venue, JBT representatives will be outlining how JBT extractor systems can assist growers when it comes to getting the maximum amount of juice out of fruit affected by citrus greening.
Ahead of the annual industry showcase, Donn Sabato, JBT’s North America Director of Sales, explained that despite the challenging situation for Florida’s citrus sector, JBT is dedicated to keeping the industry both viable and profitable for producers.
“The dominant issue for the Florida citrus industry is greening, a bacteria spread by an insect called a psyllid, which has affected virtually all citrus groves in Florida,” explains Sabato. From producing 240m boxes of oranges in 2004, the industry last year produced 70m boxes as a result of greening.
While the industry is working hard to find a viable treatment for greening, Sabato says JBT is doing everything it can to support the difficult situation for growers. In addition to showing support at events, he says JBT has developed juice extractors that are ideally suited for the smaller fruit produced by greening-affected trees, while ensuring that the right sized fruit always goes to the right extractor.
“The real value for us of an event like the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference is that we are sponsoring and participating in it,” says Sabato. “We want to be part of the industry’s recovery from greening and part of the recovery is taking part in events like this.”