The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) has honored the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Marketing and Development with its 2021 Friend of the Industry Award. The award was presented during FFVA’s 77th annual convention in Naples on Sept. 14.
The award recognizes the important role an industry partner played in advocating for Florida agriculture over the last year. The FDACS marketing division played a critical role in the industry’s fight for fair trade, providing research and key data points to support growers who saw harm caused by trade practices from foreign countries like Mexico.
Left to right: Donna Watson, Jackie Moalli and Mike Joyner at the FFVA Convention. Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack.
“Without the division’s team of researchers, we would not have the data to show some of the historical trends supporting how Florida farmers are being ‘buried in volume and crushed on price,” said Mike Joyner, FFVA president, during his remarks at the awards presentation. “Their work helps illustrate what our growers see every day as we make our case to the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. International Trade Commission.”
In August, the FDACS marketing division released an updated report on the impacts of Mexican imports on Florida's seasonal producers. Annually, Florida agricultural producers lost sales estimated at 10-20 percent, or $1.31 – 2.63 billion, because of Mexico’s ag-export expansion. Florida’s market share (volume) declined in each of the four primary commodities examined between 2000 and 2020: bell peppers, tomatoes (rounds), strawberries and blueberries.