Fruit & Tree Nut Farming
Brief Excerpt from Industry Overview Chapter:
Companies in this industry grow fruits and tree nuts for commercial production. Major companies include Chiquita Brands, Dole Food Company, almond cooperative Blue Diamond Growers, the National Grape Cooperative and its Welch's subsidiary, and Citrus World's cooperative Florida's Natural Growers, all based in the US.
Worldwide, more than 689 million metric tonnes of fruit and nut crops are produced each year. Grapes, apples, bananas, oranges, almonds, and walnuts are the most produced crops. China and India are the world's leading growers, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The US fruit and tree nut farming industry includes about 105,000 farms with combined annual revenue of about $30 billion. Separate industry profiles cover Vegetable & Melon Farming profile and Fruit & Vegetable Processing.
Demand is driven by US population growth and consumer trends in food consumption. The profitability of individual companies depends on maximizing crop yield and minimizing risk of disease. Large companies and farm cooperatives have advantages in highly mechanized operations, branded food products, and access to low-cost labor. Small operations can compete effectively by specializing in agritourism as well as organic, heirloom, or unusual fruits and nuts. The US industry is concentrated: the top 8 percent of farms generate about 75 percent of revenue.
The fruit and nut industry competes with grain, vegetable, and melon farming for crop acreage, as farmers tend to plant and harvest crops with the highest yield and...