Florida Department of Citrus
The Florida Department of Citrus and the Florida Citrus Commission
In 1935, with the legislative passing of the Florida Citrus Code, the Florida Citrus Commission and the Florida Department of Citrus were established as an agency of the state government to provide marketing, research and regulatory support to the entire industry.
The Florida Citrus Commission serves in the capacity of a board of directors for the Department of Citrus. The Commission consists of 9 members appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the state senate for 3-year terms. Its members represent all aspects of the citrus industry, including growers, processors, shippers and packers. The Department of Citrus carries out Commission policy and acts as the Commission’s staff. The current executive director is Douglas Ackerman.
Marketing activities make up the bulk of the Department’s workload. About 80 percent of the annual operating budget is allocated to the development and execution of advertising and public relations activities that drive consumer demand for Florida citrus in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. The remainder of the budget is used to fund scientific research, market and economic research, and to provide regulatory support to the industry.
Although it’s a state agency, the FDOC is unique in that its operations are not funded through the state’s general tax revenue fund. Florida’s citrus industry pays its own way in the form of an excise tax placed on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The Commission is responsible for setting the annual tax rate.
The Commission meets monthly in a public forum at Florida Department of Citrus headquarters in Bartow to review, guide and approve the Department’s programs and budgets. Florida citrus growers are invited and encouraged to attend the meetings and provide input into Commission decisions and policies.