Yamano & Associates, Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) partner agency in Japan for over 40 years, recently concluded an educational tour in Florida, continuing its efforts to explore and engage with key individuals in the Florida citrus industry.
The two-day tour provided the agency with a unique opportunity to closely observe the operations and processes involved in the Florida citrus industry, including the various methods to combat greening, such as citrus under protective screen and systemic tree applications, quality control and sustainability methods. The tour included discussions with FDOC Executive Director Shannon Shepp and Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Steve Johnson. There were also meetings with exporters and processors to review 2022–23 marketing and public relations programs, and to discuss preliminary plans for the 2023–24 season.
“This educational trip to Florida provided us many great insights into the future of Florida citrus, and it was exciting to speak with so many people, from growers to processors to exporters, to learn about the ways they plan to regrow the industry,” said Yamano & Associates President Nina Yamano. “The Florida citrus industry has faced many challenges in recent years, but they are fighting it with passion and innovation. We were able to see a great optimism for future success in everyone we met. This knowledge will help our trade partners as we continue to develop marketing and public relations programs to highlight Florida grapefruit and grapefruit juice.”
Since the 1980s, Yamano & Associates has helped to promote the unique, premium quality and taste of Florida grapefruit and grapefruit juice in Japan through retail promotions and sampling, food service events and public relations efforts. The success of those programs helped expand demand and marketing efforts into other Asian countries. The United States is the second-largest exporter of grapefruit to Japan, according to the Japan Ministry of Finance.
“Yamano & Associates has played a vital role in the promotion of Florida grapefruit and grapefruit juice throughout Japan, and we were honored by their visit to Florida to learn about the future of the Florida citrus industry,” stated John Fuller, FDOC global marketing director. “There is optimism on the horizon for this industry, and it was exciting for an international partner to experience firsthand the passion, perseverance and knowledge of Florida citrus growers, processors, and exporters.”