Economic yearbook 2011
Florida's Biggest Private Landowners
The 10 — which own about a tenth of the state — will play a key role in Florida's future.
9 • Florida Crystals
Privately held agricultural, real estate and energy company owned by the Fanjul family
Florida acres: 155,000
Headquarters: West Palm Beach
Florida Crystals is the umbrella company for the business interests of the Fanjul family, which owns 240,000 acres in the Dominican Republic along with its Florida acreage. Alfonso "Alfy" Fanjul Jr. and Jose "Pepe" Fanjul run the company as president and CEO. Its principal business is to produce and sell sugar. With three mills, a refinery and packaging and distribution plant, Florida Crystals also grows, mills and markets rice. Its renewable-energy plant converts biomass — waste such as leftover sugar cane stalks — to electricity for its sugar operations and about 60,000 homes.
This year, Florida Crystals is developing the South Florida Regional Intermodal Logistic Center in western Palm Beach County in partnership with the Port of Palm Beach. But the Fanjuls expect to remain primarily in the sugar business, not real estate.
"Around the edges we have properties that may be used for other purposes, but I would say the fundamental outlook that we have for agricultural properties is to continue trying to produce food," says Alfy Fanjul. "Sugar has been very stable. Sugar is in great demand."