The legislative session in Florida provides opportunities for farmers to voice their concerns on what programs need funding. The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) encouraged its producers to contact senators and representatives about the need to fully fund the Fresh From Florida program at $10.05 million.
“Appropriate funding for the Fresh From Florida program is incredibly important. We understand there are difficult decisions to be made with the state budget this year and deeply appreciate the positive steps the budget conference committee has already taken to appropriate funds. That said, fully funding the program means Fresh From Florida can increase its reach and impact, providing Florida farmers with even more resources to market their products to a national and global audience,” FFVA president Mike Joyner said.
The program helps market products for Florida’s 47,000 agricultural producers.
The “Fresh From Florida” logo is displayed on product packaging and signage. Only members of the Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign are able to utilize the logo. It associates the members’ products with Florida agriculture’s worldwide image of excellence.
“With a $22 return on investment for every $1 invested, the Fresh From Florida program has generated $130 million in additional cash receipts and has reached over 60 million consumers annually through retail partnership programs. The difference is substantial, and our grower members would not be able to establish this level of engagement with national retail buyers or consumers outside of Florida without the program,” Joyner said.
With that said, it is up to the growers to inform their legislators about the difference this program has made.
“When our members engage, policymakers get to hear straight from the men and women who see firsthand how effective the program is in marketing support. After a devastating year for so many amidst the pandemic and with increased pressure from the supply of foreign products – most notably from Mexico, growers need every tool available to remain competitive in the global marketplace and help raise awareness about the importance of supporting local farmers and buying Florida-grown fruits and vegetables. Never has that message been more important,” Joyner said.
Florida’s legislative session will end on April 30.