Cooperative Completes Challenging 2014 Harvest Season
Record Summer Rainfall Impacts Sugar Farmers
BELLE GLADE, Fla., March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The widely reported record wet season that impacted the entire south Florida region also affected the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) last summer setting the tone for what became a challenging 2014 harvest season for the Florida sugar industry.
The deluge experienced over the agricultural area – 46 percent above average rainfall – flooded farms and hampered the crops’ important summer growth cycle. As a result, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida experienced a reduced sugarcane yield and volume of raw sugar produced. Production was down approximately 9 percent as compared to the prior year.
The Cooperative’s 136-day crop commenced on October 22, 2013 and was completed after a week of rain delays on March 6, 2014. The 45 grower-members of the Cooperative produced 2,843,329 tons of sugarcane grown on 69,536 acres primarily in Palm Beach County, yielding 332,154 short tons raw value (STRV) sugar and 16 million gallons of blackstrap molasses.
“These losses were somewhat mitigated, however, through the excellent performance of our sugar mill and agricultural operations,” said Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative President Tony Contreras. “Glades Sugar House set new records for energy efficiency and for the quality of the raw sugar produced. We applaud the teamwork of our growers and our workforce who achieved these results despite the obstacles delivered by Mother Nature and in the marketplace.”
Florida’s agricultural industry supports 1.4 million jobs and generates $100 billion in economic activity for the state. It is responsible for $3 billion in tax revenue for local and state governments. Florida’s sugar industry provides 12,800 jobs as part of 142,500 nationwide jobs and generates $3.3 billion in economic activity for the state each year.
About Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative
The Cooperative consists of 45 grower-members and employs 550 people during the harvest season with an annual payroll exceeding $31 million. The primary functions of the Cooperative are the harvesting, transporting and processing of sugarcane and the sales of raw sugar and molasses. The Cooperative is joint owner of ASR Group with Florida Crystals Corporation.
About ASR Group
ASR Group is the world’s largest cane sugar refining and marketing company with global production capacity of more than 6 million tons of refined sugar annually. Its products are marketed through its family of premier brands including Domino®, C&H®, Redpath®, Florida Crystals®, Tate & Lyle®, Lyles®, Sidul®, Sores® and Notadolce®.
SOURCE Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida