BARTOW, Fla. – The Florida Citrus Commission approved a revised 2021-22 operating budget for the Florida Department of Citrus Wednesday of $29 million.
The commission voted to maintain the previous year’s box assessment rates of $0.12 on processed orange, $0.05 on fresh orange, and $0.07 on grapefruit and specialty citrus.
The budget is $9.712 million higher than in 2020-21, largely due to an increase in general revenue funding from the state. The FDOC will receive $17.5 million in general revenue versus the $5.3 million received in 2020-21. These funds will primarily be spent on domestic marketing programs aimed at driving consumers to purchase Florida Orange Juice through online retail partners and increasing awareness of the health benefits of OJ through “The Original Wellness Drink” campaign.
Since July, the Department has driven more than $11 million in attributed sales of Florida Orange Juice with a goal to reach $30 million by the end of the fiscal year.
The budget also includes $3.5 million in Foreign Agricultural Service Market Access Program funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be used on international programs as well as $99,000 in Agricultural Trade Promotion funds rolled over from the previous season to be used on Fresh Orange programs in Canada.
The budget is based on the USDA October crop estimate of 47 million boxes of oranges, 3.8 million boxes of grapefruit, and 900,000 boxes of specialty fruit.
While the majority of the budget is allocated to marketing, more than $2.5 million will go toward scientific research on the health benefits of Florida Citrus and economic and market research to explore both industry and consumer behavior trends.
–Florida Citrus Commission