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The $22 million recommendation includes $5 million for marketing programs at the Florida Department of Citrus

BARTOW – Governor Rick Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget proposes $22 million for the Florida Citrus industry, including $5 million supporting Florida Department of Citrus marketing programs aimed at educating and increasing awareness among consumers of the health benefits of Florida Citrus and Florida Orange Juice as well as $650,000 for new variety research ensuring Americans have access to the citrus they love long into the future.

Governor Scott said, “Florida has an incredible and iconic citrus industry and following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Irma, I am fully committed to helping this industry, and the many families that rely on it, fully recover. I am proud to announce more than $21 million for Florida’s world famous citrus industry which will support important research opportunities, awareness efforts and ongoing recovery operations. We will continue to fight for Florida’s farmers and their families as we work with the Legislature to pass this significant investment.”

FDOC Executive Director Shannon Shepp said, “Governor Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget recognizes the deep legacy of Florida’s citrus industry, and its great contributions to our economy over the years. We couldn’t be more grateful for his commitment to see Florida Citrus through our many challenges, and continue our pledge to be present and accountable in all budget actions.”

Gov. Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget highlights for 2018-19:

Gov. Scott’s announcement comes as the Florida Citrus industry continues to recover from Hurricane Irma, which impacted growers across the state and caused more than $760 million in damages. Growers are expected to produce just 50 million boxes of oranges this season, a drop of 27 percent over last season, with the number expected to reduce further as the full extent of damages are realized.

About the Florida Department of Citrus

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 45,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of $8.6 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.