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Wood Container Industry

Know Florida

Circa 1937

The marketing of Florida's citrus, strawberries, vegetables, and other edibles is dependent on the wooden container industry. Some shipments are made in trucks in bulk but over 85 per cent of all fruit and vegetables move in wooden packages produced almost entirely in the State.

One hundred and forty-five million board feet of wood are used in Florida annually for containers, of which about 70 per cent is used for packing oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines—Florida's famous citrus. Vegetables and fruits other than citrus use the remainder of this wood. Loblolly, longleaf, and slash pines and black, tupelo, and red gums are the principal species used, while magnolia, bay, poplar, elm, and sycamore are of minor importance. Approximately 10,000 employees at the factories and in the woods are gainfully employed in producing containers for over 120,000 box cars of fruit and vegetables each season.

The container industry has showed great progress in improving and in making their packages more attractive. Wire-bound, folder packages are shipped to the citrus packing houses, the celery fields, and the bean and tomato fields, stamped as to brand and number, and ready for immediate use of the shippers. Perishable early strawberries are shipped in wooden cups enclosed in veneer crates. Avocados, guavas, mangoes, and even pineapples leave the southern part of the State in hampers, lugs, and crates and arrive on the northern and eastern markets in prime condition to delight the palates of our neighbors there.

Excerpt from "Florida's Wood Container Industry" Know Florida, Issued by the State Department of Agriculture, Tallahassee, Circa 1937, pg. 6.


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