Florida Grapefruit Planting Project: progress report
Four years since Takasago International Corporation issued a news release dated September 27, 2019 regarding its grapefruit planting project in Florida, in conjunction with Peace River Citrus Products and The Scotts Family Companies https://www.takasago.com/en/news/411?news_list=1, harvesting of fruits from the planted trees will commence this fall.
While participating in this project, we have also secured an agreement for the long-term procurement of grapefruit essential oil, which is positioned as one of the TaSuKI (Takasago global procurement Sustainability Key Initiatives) for the long-term stable procurement of important raw materials for flavor and fragrance.
In collaboration with local partners, we have overcome risks such as citrus greening disease, which has been affecting grapefruit cultivation for some time, and hurricane damage, which has become a concern in recent years with its tendency to intensify, and we continue to push forward with this initiative. Although there were delays in procuring seedlings at the start of the tree-planting project, these were recovered from the second year onward, and as a result, the plan to plant approximately 1,000 acres is expected to be completed almost two years earlier than expected.
Today, there is a growing demand to develop products that are not only naturally derived, but also environmentally friendly. For this aspect, an at the grove cultivation method using ground cover is being practiced and is expected to save about 50% of water due to its moisture retention effect. In addition, directly communicating with growers and procuring the essential oil from the processor is a normative approach from the standpoint of managing traceability information.
The environment surrounding Florida's grapefruit-growing regions is fraught with challenges, but we hope that this initiative, supported by a passion for sustainable grapefruit, will help mitigate the nearly quarter-century-long trend of declining production and create new motivation for growers.