Learn about Florida citrus, sugar industry from Robert Buker

Learn about Florida citrus, sugar industry from Robert Buker

■ BY SUE ERWIN

Sugar and citrus are a vital part of Florida’s economy, and U.S. Sugar President and CEO Robert H. Buker, Jr. will provide an inside look at Florida’s sugar industry, focusing on U.S. Sugar, Florida’s
oldest and largest sugarcane farming and processing operation.
The presentation will include the company’s rich history in the region, current hi-tech farming and processing operations and important issues facing sugar, and forecasts for the future.
Buker will be speaking in Boca Grande on January 3 at 4:30 p.m. in the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium.
U.S. Sugar is the oldest and largest sugar producing operation in Florida, and one of the most modern and efficient food companies in the world.
Buker will be joined by Judy Sanchez, Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for U.S. Sugar, at the presentation.
“We are a 100 percent Florida company, owned by our employees and several charitable foundations set up by our founder, Charles Stuart Mott,” Sanchez said.
“Florida produces 90 percent of the country’s orange juice, 70 percent of its citrus, 50 percent of the nation’s cane sugar and about 25 percent of the nation’s total sugar.”
Some of the biggest issues facing the sugar and citrus industries are weather, trade, and water, according to Sanchez.
Citrus is Florida’s largest, iconic state crop – a $9 billion industry. And sugarcane is the second at $3.5  billion.  More than 76,000 Floridians work in the citrus industry and more than 22,000 are employed in sugar commerce.
Tickets to the event are $20.
To purchase in advance, contact the Friends of Boca Grande at 964-0827 or order them online at
friendsofbocagrande.org.