Department of Citrus Gets $1.9 Million More for Marketing
Lakeland Ledger – October 19, 2011
BARTOW | A larger-than-expected 2011-12 citrus crop and other changes gave the Florida Department of Citrus another $1.9 million for marketing programs.
The Florida Citrus Commission, the department’s governing body, on Wednesday approved a 2011-12 budget of $56.7 million, an increase from a preliminary $54.8 million budget approved in June.
The new budget came after the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Oct. 12 issued the first official forecast of the new Florida citrus season at 147 million boxes of orange, 20.1 million boxes of grapefruit and 5.8 million boxes of tangerines and tangelos.
That and other financial adjustments gave the Citrus Department the additional money, said Acting Executive Director Debra Funkhouser, who recommended putting $1.9 million into cash-strapped marketing programs.
The commission also voted to keep state citrus taxes, the source of most of the Citrus Department’s revenue, at the June rates: 23 cents per box for juice oranges, 34 cents per box for grapefruit, 14 cents for fresh tangerines and tangelos and 5 cents for fresh oranges.
The department’s new “shopper marketing” program will get most of the additional money, $1.45 million, on top of $3.1 million approved in June. Shopper marketing refers to direct-to-consumer promotions, such as in-store advertising and email and instant messaging over the Internet.
MARS Advertising Inc., a Detroit-area company hired in June, will handle the shopper marketing effort, but company officials have said they need until next year to develop many of the new programs.