Florida to Face Extended Food Shortages

Toni Koraza

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Food prices are hitting record highs in Florida.

The rest of the United States is also facing similar hurdles. Core inflation is running wild, and the economy is hot. Global food prices are no exception, posting a 20% increase YoY.

How does this reflect on Florida?

Florida has fewer farms than in 2013. Simultaneously, the agricultural workforce has been steadily declining ever since the 1840s. New technology and automation could explain some of the declines, but overall the trend is worrying.

Fewer farmers mean less food.

On top of that, less produce, supply chain holdups, and extreme climate events infuse another layer of challenges for the food manufacturing industry in Florida.

"From the citrus groves and nurseries in Central and South Florida to the vegetables in various regions around the state to the cattle and calves throughout the state, these farms and ranches provide Florida with a large and stable economic base," according to FDACS.

Although the Sunshine state produces plenty of barley, oats, rye, wheat, tomatoes, and oranges, it still imports a lot of grain and other produce from overseas. So, Russian aggression on Ukraine has shaken Florida's food safety up another notch. Ukraine has one of the most fertile agricultural lands in the entire world. Russia is not far behind in terms of food exports.

Importing food from Russia or Ukraine will become increasingly difficult over the upcoming months and years. This will impact everyone in the United States, together with Florida residents.

Millions of Floridians across the state could soon start rethinking their next grocery run.

Total Production Value of Florida Products — 2019

Florida nets roughly $7.6 billion in producing food. Below are the main exports.

  • Tomatoes
  • Oranges
  • Bell Peppers
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelons
  • Sweet corn
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Peanuts
  • Cabbage

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services

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