Why Most Orange Juice Comes From Brazil, Not Florida

Why Most Orange Juice Comes From Brazil, Not Florida

In the United States, orange juice is synonymous with Florida. It may come as a surprise, then, to look at the fine print on a bottle of Tropicana and Simply Orange and discover that part of the product isn’t from the Sunshine State after all. It’s from Brazil.

Orange juice is big business in Brazil. After a series of frosts swept through Florida in the 1960s, devastating orange groves, Brazil met that deficit with its own supply, starting with frozen concentrate orange juice. Then, in 2005, citrus greening disease, which had spread throughout the world from China, arrived in Miami. It rendered oranges in affected groves inedible, resulting in a 55 percent decline in production over the next decade. In response, Florida’s orange growers raised OJ prices by nearly $2 per gallon, causing bottlers to turn to cheaper Brazilian OJ.