The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Florida Farmers Fear Devastation as Food Flows in From Castro's Cuba

Florida citrus farmer Dan Richey is worried about a Cuban fruit invasion.

“They have a better climate than us and the same growing season,” said Richey, who farms 4,000 acres of mostly grapefruit near Vero Beach. “They could become the low-cost competitor, right at our doorstep.”

While a diplomatic thaw is just beginning, President Barack Obama is seeking closer U.S. trade ties with Cuba, signaling an end to five decades of sanctions that left the country starved of cash and little changed since Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959. That’s clearing a path for more agricultural investment on a Caribbean island just 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Florida.

Cubans have been more buyers than competitors because they eat mostly imported food and already get grain from the Midwest. But expanded farming in the country poses a new threat for Florida, the top U.S. grower of sugar cane, oranges and fresh tomatoes. Cuba was once a major supplier of sugar, fruits and vegetables, and with land untouched by modern chemicals or genetically modified seed, it is drawing the attention of organic food producers.



KBinLA said...

With regard to the "land untouched by modern chemicals or genetically modified seed", I've got no sympathy. We've only done it to ourselves., or allowed it to be done to us, whichever.

Anonymous said...

Cuban cigars imported thru Canada have dropped by 70% now.

Anonymous said...

Agree. Something is terribly wrong when the govt allows the chemical companies to test their own products who then say they are safe. So farmers use their products for greater yields which means more money for them. We have allowed greed and wealth to take precedence over the safety of people's health. How many do you know with allergies and upper respiratory ailments who used to not have them? What's different? Check out the ingredients in your food and the pollen in the air from GMO corn and soy beans or fertilizers being spread on fields all around you.

Anonymous said...

Stop voting your friends the politicians into office. How do you think Cuba is able to do this??? Your friends the politicians,

Anonymous said...

Cuba - no frost.