All major citrus growing regions in Florida were indeed affected by Hurricane Irma which devastated our state for more than 24 hours September 10th and 11th. At this time there are no precise reports giving an accurate measure of the full impact. Please keep this in mind as you read and hear those that are surfacing.
RC Treatt continues to provide contingency for the US operation should it be required, however the good news for our customers is that Treatt USA are already back up and running. We are also happy to remind our customers that we source raw materials from all over the globe, and operate in this manner to provide the best possible quality and service, continuity of supply, and risk mitigation.
Unfortunately we cannot yet say with any certainty exactly how much of Florida’s orange and grapefruit crops were lost or how many trees have been damaged. We do know there will be a reduction in the crop, which was previously forecasted to increase for the first time in five years. We have heard losses for oranges as low as 30% and up to 80%. Only time will tell. We anticipate the crop now being somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-55 million boxes, a huge decrease from last season’s 68.7 million boxes.
While we certainly appreciate everyone’s anxiety over the crops, we also recognize that our Florida growers have not only groves to rebuild but also lives, and we offer heartfelt sympathies to these men and women who have an unbelievable amount of drive and resilience.
We must also consider that Mexico was hit by not only Hurricane Katia, which will have an impact on both grapefruit and orange crops, but also with an incredibly strong earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale. Damages from these natural disasters are also still being assessed. Our sympathies are with those families and friends who lost loved ones suddenly in these events.
We will keep our customers and friends updated on the crops as we hear and know more, but appreciate everyone keeping calm until the picture becomes clearer. For Treatt, it is business as usual. Thank you for your continued support.