Citrus growers concerned about situation in Japan

VERO BEACH, Fla. - Doug Bournique does so much business with Japanese clients, his cards are printed in two languages.

Bournique is executive director of the Indian River Citrus League.

The partnership between local growers and Japan dates back 30 years.

"It's our most important export market," says Bournique.  "We send anywhere from five to seven million cartons depending on the year and the crop to Japan."

Bournique says everyone involved in the local citrus industry is reeling from the devastation that continues to unfold in Japan.

No one knows what impact the disaster could have on shipments to the country.

The port local growers use is open but there are concerns distribution channels could be shut down.

"It's still a crisis in motion," says Bournique.  "They're so important to us, we wanted to be sure that we're doing the right thing for them, for our trading partners. They're not only our partners but our friends."

The Florida Citrus Commission met Wednesday to talk about a way to help Japan's recovery.

The group expects to have a plan in the next few days.

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