The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) congratulates Florida Grower on its 100th anniversary. This celebration is a testament to a century of milestones, growth, and resilience. Weâ€™re honored to be a part of your history.
In 1935, Floridaâ€™s growers had the vision to form the FDOC, an entity dedicated to regulation, research, and marketing for the citrus industry. It was the first such organization in the country and served as a model for marketing orders across the nation, including Idaho Potato, Washington State Apples, and Alaskan Seafood. Today, there are more than 50 state and 15 federal programs.
Florida growers have built the largest OJ market in the world through their investment in marketing. And, as the only organization responsible for promoting the overall consumption of orange juice, the FDOC has become the Florida citrus â€œchampion.â€� Most recently, the FDOC has aggressively protected the market for Florida citrus by:
â€¢Â Aggressively communicating the health benefits of orange juice during low-carb mania
â€¢Â Combating misinformation about grapefruit juice and drug interaction and orange juice and obesity.
â€¢Â Taking to task companies who confuse consumers with misleading labels, thus providing a public disservice to all Americans â€” particularly children.
While we take this time to honor how far weâ€™ve come, itâ€™s important we recognize this as an opportunity to look to the future in hopeful anticipation of what the next 100 years will bring. This year, we witnessed the largest harvest since 2004, which is a symbol of Florida growersâ€™ resilience and tenacity. For the future, we see an industry working together to control and prevent citrus diseases, including greening and canker, and to continue to reinforce consumersâ€™ belief in our productâ€™s value.
Nearly 75 years after the FDOCâ€™s inception, the growersâ€™ investment continues to be worthwhile. The Florida citrus industry has grown to employ nearly 90,000 people and contributes a $9.3 billion economic impact to the state. The box tax investment allows us to fund research that uncovers new health benefits associated with Florida citrus consumption and remedies for crop diseases. These funds bring Florida citrus to the national stage via television, magazine, and Internet advertising, public relations, retail, and foodservice communications programs to move the needle. Weâ€™re seeing strong signs from consumers. Overall dollar sales of orange juice are remaining steady; this is good news. Consumers are increasingly interested in a balanced, healthy approach to their diets, including naturally healthy foods like oranges and grapefruit. This is exactly the message weâ€™re communicating.
While the crop supply rebounds this year, growing demand is vital to the health of the industry. As long as Floridaâ€™s citrus growers continue to produce high quality fruits and juices; weâ€™ll be there to grow the market. Hereâ€™s to the next 100 years