Federal Orange Juice Order Back on the Table 

In December, the Florida citrus industry continued to evaluate the idea of forming a Federal Research and Promotion Order for orange juice. A 14-member Industry Review Committee was established to discuss the process of developing an order and review its pros and cons.

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Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Ned Hancock encouraged the formation of the committee, which is made up of industry citrus associations and growers. Florida Citrus Mutual coordinated the establishment of the committee and, as of press time, the first meeting had not been scheduled.

Establishing an Order

The first step in securing a federal promotion order is to submit a proposal to the USDA, the agency that administers the program. The proposal should include an industry analysis and points on why the order is needed, along with objectives of what it is hoped the order will achieve.

The USDA then publishes the request for an order in the Federal Register and holds public meetings that call for an up or down vote held on the measure. If approved, the federal order will assess a marketing fee on juice importers, along with all domestic juice, including states outside of Florida.

Potential Snags

The Florida Department of Citrus, the current research and marketing body in the state, has promoted 100% Florida Orange Juice. Under a federal order, a single state cannot be promoted, meaning only generic orange juice can be promoted. There is a divided opinion on this issue. In addition, other citrus-growing states must be represented on the board of the promotion agency, which calls into question if Florida would cede too much control under a federal order.

USDA currently oversees 21 federal research and promotion orders/boards, covering a range of commodities such as cotton, beef, and dairy. This most recent effort to establish a federal juice promotion is not the first such attempt. The idea has been brought up several times since the early 2000s.

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Seems silly that a State could not promote their own export commodities to help their producers and gain public support. I think that our Federal Govt. should promote our country and it’s benefits, products and services & let the States promote what they like without interference from the Federal Govt. Florida Orange Juice has been a big part of welcoming people driving into our State at Welcome Centers, and I would hate to see this integral part of our identity and hospitality disappear. If States give their residents more rights than the Federal Govt. the States rights should prevail.

Avatar for Julie Julie says:

This type of promotion never serves the growers, it only costs the growers. The marketing fees are always passed on to the grower. This type of marketing has been tried years ago with the wheat growers, and the soybean, corn growers. The markets didn’t get stronger, only lower but the agency did well for themselves. I know this because we were one of the wheat, soybean and corn growers and it did NOT do anything for the grower. It is a waste of time and money.

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