Florida Citrus Commission approves emergency rule and amends others

The emergency rule concerns the minimum ratio of solids to acid in grapefruit juice beverage base

BARTOW, Fla. – The Florida Citrus Commission approved an emergency rule affecting concentrated grapefruit juice and several final rules during its meeting Wednesday.

Commissioners unanimously supported an emergency rule to lower the minimum ratio of solids to acid in concentrated grapefruit juice to not less than seven to one during the period Aug. 1 to Jan. 31 every season.

The emergency rule became necessary after a statute repealed by the Florida Legislature during the 2012 session affected guidance on acid ratio, “creating an unnecessary financial hardship on an industry already in crisis by allowing product to go to waste,” said William Roberts, general counsel to the FCC.

Commissioners also voted to approve initial rulemaking on the matter in order to begin the process of putting the rule in place permanently.

Additionally, commissioners approved several changes to final rules of 20-3, 20-100 and 20-108. The changes were proposed by the state’s Joint Administrative Procedure Committee and mostly affected wording and structure of the rules, not meaning, Roberts said.

Those rules must wait at least 21 days to be filed with the Bureau of Administrative Code but will be in place by the beginning of the season Oct. 1.

About the Florida Citrus Commission

The Florida Citrus Commission is the governing board of the Florida Department of Citrus, an executive agency of the Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. The commission is a nine-member board appointed by the governor to represent citrus growers, processors and packers. FDOC activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry employs nearly 62,000 people and provides an annual economic impact of nearly $10.7 billion to the state. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit FloridaCitrus.org.