Beautifully engraved certificate from the Plymouth Citrus Growers Association
in 1955. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman. This item is hand signed by the Company’s President ( E. W. Fly ) and Secretary ( R. D. Carlton ) and is
over 62 years old. The certificate was issued to A. B. Ashley.
Plymouth Citrus Growers Association was a nonprofit corporation without capital stock. During 1947 and 1948, it had approximately 250 members, who owned approximately 6,000 acres of land and contributed annually about two and one-half million boxes of citrus fruit. The association made available facilities for cultivating, harvesting, processing, and marketing the fruit of its members. Its activities included spraying, fertilizing, and cultivating the members' groves and picking, grading, sizing, processing, freezing, canning and marketing the fruit produced from such groves. It operated a cannery, a packing house and a fertilizer plant. It was a member of the Florida Citrus Exchange, an organization which markets the fruit of several cooperatives.
For marketing purposes Plymouth assigned its members' fruit to pools according to the type and variety of fruit, and the members shared in the proceeds of each pool in proportion to the quantity of fruit they furnished. Plymouth's management determined whether the fruit would be processed through the cannery or sold as fresh fruit. Plymouth remitted the proceeds to its members after first deducting the estimated cost of handling, processing and marketing.
Plymouth treated its fertilizer plant and grove caretaking service as a single activity. It purchased the necessary ingredients and mixed the fertilizer according to the formulae that its production manager determined a particular grower needed. The grove caretaking service included purchasing trees from the nursery, planting such trees, irrigation of the groves, application of insecticides and fertilizer, cultivation and pruning of the trees, and other operations necessary to the proper planting and care of citrus groves. Each member was billed for the cost of fertilizer and insecticides used and of the grove caretaking service. The members paid such charges either in cash or through deductions taken from the proceeds of sale of their fruit.