Florida’s strawberry industry is another contributor to “Southern Demographic Displacement.”
Here are the facts:
2.) Florida’s strawberry industry employs about 9,000 to 10,000 workers. Like the Florida tomato industry, the overwhelming majority of these workers are Mexican, Guatemalan, and Haitian immigrants. Most of them are illegal aliens.
3.) Florida produces anywhere from 90 to 100 percent of the domestically produced winter strawberries (November to January) consumed east of the Mississippi. There are about 10,000 acres planted in strawberries in this region. The strawberry crop produces about $400 million dollars in revenue.
4.) The Florida Strawberry Grower’s Association also opposed the E-Verify bill and Florida’s version of an Arizona-style immigration law. Strawberries are the third most important vegetable crop in Florida behind tomatoes and bell peppers.
5.) The biggest threat facing Florida’s strawberry industry is Mexican competition under NAFTA. Mexicans in Mexico are able to grow strawberries (and tomatoes) at a cheaper price than Mexicans in Florida.
Florida tomato and strawberry growers are bleating to Tallahassee and Washington about “fair trade” and “American jobs” … even though they disparage and refuse to hire American workers at livable wages, these millionaires invoke patriotism to justify selling their product in a protected US market.
Let’s hope that “free trade” puts them out of business!
Note: From 2000 to 2010, around 600,000 New Yorkers moved to Florida.
We’re peeling away at the layers of “Southern Demographic Displacement” in Florida, but it’s already clear that domestic migration as a cause is going to dwarf anything that we will find in the fruit and vegetable fields.
How did a sleepy, pestilential Southern backwater like Florida (in 1957, Alabama had 9 representatives in the US House, and Florida had 8 representatives) become the fourth largest state (soon to be third largest state, overtaking New York) in America? Florida’s transformation since the 1950s is by far the most extreme example of “Southern Demographic Displacement” anywhere.
We’re going to spend the next few months researching this.