During a Sept. 17 luncheon, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said the FFVA’s joining the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Fresh from Florida membership program should help increase sales.
Fresh from Florida promotes the Sunshine State’s produce throughout North America and overseas through retail merchandising that includes a logo and weekly store ads.
“As of this meeting, every member of FFVA is automatically a member of Fresh from Florida,” Putnam said. “That’s a big deal.”
The agency has identified foodservice and is working with some iconic Florida restaurants to include Fresh from Florida products on their menus, he said.
Putnam cited a Tallahassee Wal-Mart store erecting a large Fresh from Florida advertising display.
“They did it on their own because of perceived value of the program,” he said. “It means because of the quality of the product we’re promoting, we’ve taken it up a notch. We’re playing in the big leagues.”
“Pay attention to these water issues over the next couple of years as they will have a big impact,” he said. “Look at Tampa Bay and what it looks like now and what it looked like in the early 1980s. That is proof positive we can solve water issues in the state.”
In discussing political trends, Bryan Tyson, vice president of political operations for Associated Industries of Florida, said the state’s Republican party isn’t attracting Hispanic and other minority voter registrations.
“Republicans have got to wake up and understand if they don’t start to engage the only portion of the electorate that’s growing, they’re going to be extinct,” he said.
In other news, FFVA members elected Alan Temple, president of Fellsmere-based B&W Quality Growers Inc., as its chairman.
Paul Orsenigo, owner of Belle Glade-based Orsenigo Farms Inc., and Growers Management, was elected vice chairman.