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        Fruit & Tree Nut Farming Industry Profile

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        Excerpt from Fruit & Tree Nut Farming Industry Profile

        Companies in this industry grow fruits and tree nuts for commercial production. Major companies include Chiquita Brands, Dole Food Company, Fresh Del Monte Produce, almond cooperative Blue Diamond Growers, the National Grape Cooperative and its Welch's subsidiary, Ocean Spray, and Tropicana, all based in the US.

        Worldwide, about 900 million tonnes of fruit and nut crops are produced each year. Apples, bananas, pears, watermelon, almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews 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 130,000 farms with combined annual revenue of about $50 billion. Separate industry profiles cover Vegetable & Melon Farming 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% of farms generate about 75% of revenue.

        The fruit and nut industry competes with grain, vegetable, and melon farming for crop acreage, as farmers tend to plant and harvest ...

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