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Brazilian Citrus Chain has already brought more than R$ 110 billion to the country

Marcos Fava Neves - Special article to Folha de S. Paulo - 10/16/10

In October 2009, we began to discuss with CitrusBR, a new industry organization in the citrus chain, which until then was disjointed because it had an association with only one industry member and an association of citrus growers with little representation in the volume of fruit.
A general indifference and an agenda marked by mistrust and negative aspects.
The purpose of the conversation was to update the 2003 study to quantify the productive citrus chain, in that scientific vision of researching, collecting data, making analysis and bringing proposals, publishing articles, books and other forms of dissemination, creating talents and fulfilling the
basic role of the university.
After 12 months and ten people working, the result came out and will be released in October 20th at an event in Sao Paulo.
In parallel, stimulated by the Sao Paulo Secretariat of Agriculture and by sector organizations, with new leaders taking part, the sector has been discussing the formation of Consecitrus, which would be a payment mechanism of the fruit similar to that of sugar, allowing greater sharing of risk and transparency.
The consensus is already in sight and is a solution to the sector. Here are just some of the numbers collected. Since 1962, the citrus industry brought US$ 60 billion in exports to Brazil.
In 2010, we expect US$ 2 billion (almost 3% of agribusiness).
Brazil holds 50% of world production of juice, and exporting 98% of what it produces, manages to get incredible 85% of market share worldwide.
The citrus sector's GDP is US$ 6.5 billion, and total sales of its links achieved more than US$ 14 billion in 2009.
The sector generates 230,000 jobs and an annual payroll of US$ 676 million. This chain is not just composed by orange juice; in 2009, by-products exports totaled US$ 241 million.
Two problems: in 2009, US$ 518 million were paid in tariffs, equivalent to R$ 1.90 per processed box and, considering exports from 2006 to 2009, if the exchange rate was US$ 1 for R$ 2.32, the sector would have had a plus of US$ 760 million per year. The foreign exchange rate and the costs stifle the sector.
The study ended up being the catalyst for the citrus industry to gain confidence in the need to disclose its information in an aggregate form.
The citrus chain, once so criticized by us for its lack of coordination and articulation, is turning up, bringing the discussions to a new level.
Be it a step towards a joint construction of a new phase, characterized by more harmonious relationships, transparency, integrated jobs, asset sharing, combat to the production costs and other threats, so that the sector staff can focus their attention on more serious problems: market development and diseases and pests (costs).
Only then the citrus industry can bring to Sao Paulo and to Brazil another $ 60 to $ 100 billion over the next 50 years, moving the countryside economy forward.


Marcos Fava Neves is Professor of Planning at FEA / USP (Ribeirão Preto) and scientific coordinator of Markestrat.

*Translation: CitrusBR. Original text at