BARTOW – The Florida Citrus Commission approved a preliminary 2022-23 operating budget Wednesday for the Florida Department of Citrus of $29.9 million.
The Department’s total preliminary budget includes $19.125 million in general revenue funding from the State of Florida for marketing, research, and administration. The majority of the budget will fund domestic marketing programs aimed at driving sales of Florida Orange Juice. The total domestic marketing budget for OJ is nearly $18 million.
The budget includes $5 million in recurring general revenue funding plus an additional $12 million to support domestic marketing programs. It also includes $650,000 in recurring general revenue funds for new varieties research, $350,000 in non-recurring funds for the same purpose, $1 million in non-recurring funds for the development of an HLB-tolerant plant material program, and $125,000 in non-recurring funds for integration into the state accounting system PALM. Additionally, the Department will receive $3.9 million in Foreign Agricultural Service Market Access Program funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be used on international programs. The budget is based on an estimate of 35 million boxes of oranges and 3.6 million boxes of grapefruit, and 800,000 specialty boxes of citrus.
The Department’s 2022-23 budget includes an across-the-board salary and benefit increase for state employees, a general counsel position approved by the Legislature, increases in administration, scientific research, and economic and market research, as well as a decrease in global marketing.
Marketing programs in 2022-23 will build upon the success of the Department’s current eCommerce campaign to drive sales of Florida Orange Juice. Since July, the program has resulted in more than $66.4 million in attributed sales of Florida Orange Juice.
Commissioners will set the tax rates per box after October’s initial USDA citrus crop forecast. Several factors will be used to determine the appropriate final tax rate for the season, including crop size, import projections, carryover, and fund balance. A final budget for 2022-23 will be presented to the Commission in October.
By approving a preliminary budget today, Commissioners authorize Department staff to begin work immediately on programs for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which starts July 1. Grower assessments will not be collected until after the rate is set in October.
About the Florida Citrus Commission
The Florida Department of Citrus is an executive agency of Florida government charged with the marketing, research, and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry employs more than 33,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of $6.762 billion to the state, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida’s schools, roads, and health care services. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit FloridaCitrus.org.