Many people, including myself, often use analogies when trying to convey a position or point of view. When I think about the Florida citrus industry’s current situation, the saying “it’s like turning a battleship instead of a speedboat” comes to mind.
It takes a lot of planning, calculation, and preparation to maneuver a large ship. The good news is that the turn gains momentum as it progresses. Another comparison that comes to mind is a snowball gaining in size and momentum as it rolls downhill. But wait, there’s more! “Adversity brings opportunity” and “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” could both be applicable.
When adversity strikes, there is usually someone in a position to come out on the winning side. Even as destructive as the freezes in the late 1800s, 1962, and the 1980s were, they became an opportunity for many — whether it was a grower with undamaged or uncommitted fruit, a harvester with plenty of labor, a trader who had gambled on a futures contract, the nurserymen who supply the trees for replanting, or the investors behind these activities.
The same can be said for many more situations in life, and we could be seeing one of these adversity gap opportunities forming again from the challenges of HLB. The trick is to have a clear enough path forward to convince all the players mentioned above that “the juice is worth the squeeze.”
Recently, the press has ramped up the news regarding the huge deficit in citrus and the spiking prices. Greed can be a strong motivator, so you can bet your bottom dollar that the investment capital world is taking notice. Shovel-ready technologies such as Tree Defender IPCs, trunk injections, new variety development, and CUPS already have made significant progress in re-establishing confidence, and their successes appear to be turning the ship.
The new technologies currently in development by UF, CRDF, and other private companies could significantly help this snowball grow and establish a clear path to opportunity. The Tree Defender team is proud to play a part and will continue to strive and help “paddle the canoe”!
Bio: Scott Thompson is co-founder of Tree Defender, Radical Ag-Tech, and Care Planet Technologies. He is a Central Florida native with a background in agribusiness, food manufacturing, and bioscience.
This column is sponsored by Tree Defender, and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.