Florida agriculture has played an important role in Florida’s 500-year history, providing food and fiber for the people of Florida, the U.S., and around the world. Today, Florida agriculture has a $100 billion impact on our state’s economy and employs nearly 1 million Floridians. Florida’s farmers produce more than 300 commodities during our year-round growing season and export them to more than 120 countries around the globe. As Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, one of my most important missions is to strengthen and grow Florida’s agriculture industry.
Through the Fresh From Florida brand, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) works to raise awareness for the high-quality products we produce in Florida and promote the sale of Florida commodities. We’re proud of the success we’ve had thus far in increasing consumer awareness of the Fresh From Florida brand and the products it represents.
This year, we launched the first statewide advertising campaign to promote fresh Florida seafood and produce. The advertisements, including 15- and 30-second commercials, print ads, and web banners, feature locally-grown products that are in season and offer easy-to-prepare recipes. The commercials are currently airing on major network and cable television stations in all 10 of the state’s media markets. Print and online advertisements are running in target magazines and on popular food and recipe websites to complement the television campaign. The campaign has been so successful that visits to the Fresh From Florida website have increased more than 60% from the previous year. To build on this recent success, we plan to expand the use of television, print, and online advertising in the coming year.
We also continue to promote Fresh From Florida products directly to consumers through retail campaigns as well. We’ve partnered with 52 grocery retail chains worldwide to market Florida products at point-of-purchase, giving Florida-grown products a competitive advantage over others.
Benefits For Producers
Florida growers who participate in the Fresh From Florida program benefit from more than the advertisements and partnerships. Members of the Fresh From Florida program also can display the widely-recognized logo on product packaging and signage. The logo associates the products with Florida agriculture’s worldwide image of excellence. Many point-of-purchase and retail display materials to promote Florida products are available for free to Fresh From Florida program members. Furthermore, members are eligible for incentives to offset a portion of consumer packaging and carton printing costs if the Fresh From Florida message is included.
I am confident the new energy behind the Fresh From Florida campaign will have a positive impact on Florida’s entire agricultural industry. I encourage Florida’s farmers and ranchers to join the Fresh From Florida program to support our efforts, as well as reap the benefits of these recharged and exciting new programs. I value your partnership with FDACS and your continued support for our efforts.