Bureau of Development and InformationDivision of Marketing and Development
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
2006-2007 Overview of Activities
“Fresh from Florida” Campaign
The Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign (FAPC), commonly referred to as “Fresh from Florida,” is a membership program designed to boost the image of Florida agriculture and increase sales by helping consumers easily recognize Florida agricultural products at the wholesale and retail levels. There are two levels of membership -- paid and non-paid. For paying members, there is a $50 annual fee. This category includes producers, packers, repackers, processors, brokers, shippers, co-ops, agriculture supporters, and industry associations/organizations. Non-paid members include retailers, food service, not-for-profits, wholesalers, and educational and governmental organizations.
The Department’s Division of Marketing and Development has been working for more than 17 years to develop marketing strategies to assist in the promotion of Florida agricultural products both domestically and abroad. These efforts have led to increased sales and public awareness of Florida’s agricultural industries, and their vital importance to the state’s economy.
FAPC features a variety of “Fresh from Florida” logos that promote Florida-grown fruits, vegetables, seafood, horticulture, viticulture, organic, apiary, livestock, and other specialty and dairy products. In addition to commodity- and type-specific logos, the Department has created logos for international buyers and consumers. These include “from Florida” for value-added products and “from Florida USA.” Logo usage automatically ties FAPC members into inclusive media advertising touting Florida agricultural products.
Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign (FAPC) Magazine
The FAPC magazine is published twice a year. This publication promotes Florida’s agricultural industry through FAPC-member feature articles, industry-sponsored events, recipes, and articles for better nutrition from the Department’s executive chef, and through educational information that relates to Florida’s present and next generation of farmers. The magazine is distributed to the current FAPC member list, national and international produce and seafood buyers, attendees at trade events, and other agribusiness industry professionals.
A yearly directory is published and mailed with the second issue of the magazine. This directory provides information about FAPC companies, which include producers, wholesalers, retailers, processors, brokers, shippers, packers, educational organizations, and re-packers.
The “Florida Agri-Journal” is a monthly publication that reaches more than 9,000 Florida agricultural producers, businesses, and educators. Subscribers to this periodical also include Florida Senate and House Agriculture Committee members, members of Florida agricultural associations, and State Farmers’ Market tenants.
The information contained in the “Florida Agri-Journal” enables Florida agricultural producers to make informed risk-management decisions regarding their operations. It provides them with information about timely risk-management tools, including production management, financial risk solutions, disease management practices, pest mitigation, marketing information, and crop insurance. Some data is directed to specific crop producers, while other data is broad based and of value to a wider audience. Special features include editorial illustrations, trade leads, events, retail trends, and international marketing data.
Global Grid, Farmer’s Express, Fresh from Florida Watermelon
The 2006-2007 retail campaigns, “Global Grid,” “Florida Farmers’ Express” and the “Fresh from Florida Watermelon Campaign,” saw an increase in participating grocery stores, an expanded geographic area, and an increase in the number of advertisements. The marketing promotions, which ran from November 2006 to June 2007, coincide with Florida’s important winter-spring harvest that supplies the United States with most of its domestically grown produce.
Now in its sixth year, Global Grid included 9,277 stores and generated $397.5 million in additional retail sales. Florida Farmers Express campaign, now in its seventh year, included 1,699 stores and generated $103.3 million in additional retail sales. The Fresh from Florida Watermelon Campaign, now in its fourth year, included 4,017 stores and generated $43.5 million in additional retail sales.
These three marketing campaigns spanned 43 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, five Canadian provinces, England, Scotland, Wales, and 11 Caribbean and Central American countries. Forty-one retail grocery chains with 14,993 individual stores participated. They featured Florida products in their circular ads 877 times, yielding 329,811 individual store ads that generated more than 12.9 billion consumer impressions. The three successful marketing initiatives were joint ventures between the Division of Marketing and Development and the Florida Watermelon Association.
India Research Project
A market research study was conducted in the north, south, east, and west regions of India and was orchestrated in two phases by marketers in November 2006 and January 2007. The project examined economic growth, expansion of the retail and grocery sectors, and trade barriers. Valuable consumer information was gathered from more than 1,500 individual surveys.
India continues to rapidly modernize. Historical 7 percent gains in gross domestic product are fueling an expansion in a numbers of affluent consumers. These buyers are driving the imports and sales of a variety of international products. The region is now being touted as the “New China,” and continued easements of trade barriers and tariffs will assist 200 to 300 million affluent Indians as they purchase foodstuffs from around the globe.
The “Pathway to India” Report will be published in September 2007 for use by Florida’s agricultural exporters and will provide a cross section of pertinent information designed to enhance insight into the region and assist with sales opportunities for Florida’s agricultural industry.
Surveys and Research
A variety of research projects are conducted annually which deal with consumer preferences, operations intelligence, product development, client requests, and market testing programs.
The bureau has developed internal expertise in designing and implementing survey instruments, compiling findings, and producing executive reports and summaries. Numerous studies have been conducted not only in the United States but also in international markets, including Canada, the United Kingdom, and India.
Surveys and focus groups are routinely incorporated into studies to gauge consumer and product acceptance levels, expand insight into the market, and clarify the most effective approaches to advertising and information campaigns.
These efforts assist a cross section of agricultural partners and industries. The collection of intelligence helps us gain insight into unknown markets. This research helps to determine the risk and feasibility of launching products into new areas.
Ethnic Marketing Campaigns
The Division of Marketing and Development continues to educate African Americans and other minorities about the major health factors that affect them and help provide the tools to combat obesity and other obesity-related illnesses. This health initiative encourages daily exercise and the increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2006-2007, the campaign took on a new challenge as the Department partnered with the National Football League (NFL) to promote healthy lifestyles to South Florida residents during Super Bowl XLI. The “Super Bowl XLI Kickoff to Better Health” campaign involved four community programs and media and retail partners throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Individuals who either attended events or visited the official “Super Bowl XLI Kickoff to Better Health” web site were able to enter a contest to win tickets to Super Bowl XLI.
The division is also reaching Florida’s Hispanic community through its “Fresco de la Florida” campaign. This targeted program stresses the health benefits gained by increasing consumption of “Fresh from Florida” fruits and vegetables. Marketing staff promoted the healthy lifestyle message to the growing Hispanic population in Florida through major cultural celebrations and historic events throughout the state, such as Miami’s Carnaval on the Mile and Fispal-Taste Latino 3 food show. Attendees at all of the events were provided Spanish-language information and nutritional facts about fresh Florida fruits and vegetables, as well as recipes for use in traditional Hispanic meals.
The Hispanic Campaign promotes Florida agriculture to Latin American countries by participating in Hispanic food shows, utilizing media advertising in Latin America, and offering marketing incentive programs to retailers in Central America and the Caribbean. Through major print, television, and radio outlets, the message of “Fresco de la Florida” is reaching these populations. Further, this message encourages the Hispanic community to maintain a healthy weight and improve prenatal care by adding fresh Florida fruits and vegetables to their menu.
Award-winning chef Justin Timineri serves as the culinary ambassador for the State of Florida. His job is to support Florida’s agriculture industry by creating modern-style dishes that reflect Florida’s diverse population, and by conveying the benefits of eating “Fresh from Florida” products. As part of the “Fresh from Florida” marketing campaign, Chef Justin’s responsibilities include promoting Florida’s freshest commodities by creating new recipes, attending trade events, performing cooking demonstrations, and educating children on the value of health and nutrition. His philosophy on food is a simple one: “Cooking should always be fun, simple, and flavorful.”
As Culinary Ambassador, Chef Justin represented Florida at the 2006 Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans along with the Governor’s Executive Chef, Josh Butler. They prepared recipes that featured a variety of Florida products. Chef Justin was named the winner of the annual, prestigious competition, which was aired on the Food Network, and Florida agriculture received national media attention.
"Xtreme Cuisine" Cooking School
With the number of overweight and obese youth climbing each year, health and fitness issues are at the forefront of today’s news. Florida agricultural education initiatives have addressed these issues. For the third year, the Department conducted the “Xtreme Cuisine” Cooking School, teaching Florida students how to make their own healthy snacks using “Fresh from Florida” fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and other nourishing recipe ingredients. Under the supervision of Department Chef Justin Timineri, students learned the basics of food preparation while creating fruit parfaits, whole-wheat pizzas, and other easily prepared snacks. Classes were held during April and May – traditionally the last months of the school year – at middle schools in Tampa, Miami, Ocala, and Tallahassee.
In addition to in-class sessions, the Department coordinates a “Train the Trainer” program with the Florida Farm Bureau. These workshops provide the training and resources that allow employees and volunteers with Florida Farm Bureau offices, Florida County Extension Offices, and both public and private school employees and volunteers to coordinate Xtreme Cuisine classes in their communities. Thirty-seven Xtreme Cuisine classes are scheduled or have already been implemented in Broward, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Liberty, Putnam, Orange, and Seminole counties.
Fresh from Florida and Sprint Kids
As part of its ongoing campaign to promote healthy eating and exercise among young people, the Department sponsored “Sprint Kids” at seven events throughout Florida. This program is part of the Family Fitness Weekend Sports Event Series, which provides an excellent venue to promote the message of healthy eating and exercise and helps consumers understand that a healthy lifestyle starts at home. Children are asked to swim, bike, and run -- just like their parents -- only on a much shorter course. These events encourage families to participate together in physical activities and teach children that nutritious foods grown by Florida farmers are an important foundation for a lifetime of good health.
The Department’s “Fresh from Florida” message appeared on the SUN Sports Network during the competitions. In addition, a full-page, full-color ad promoting healthy eating and fresh Florida fruits and vegetables was published in Inside Exclusive Sports magazine and online at www.familyfitnessweekend.com.
Another component included partnering with Publix Supermarkets. Publix has included the “Fresh from Florida” message in its weekly advertising inserts, in the summer issue of Publix Family Style magazine, in the Publix Preschool Pals e-newsletter, and on point-of-purchase displays in its stores.
Cattle Trade Missions
The Department continues to attract international cattle buyers through trade and reverse trade missions. Florida’s beef cattle breeds are well suited to many areas of South and Central America because they show little or no effects from extremely high temperatures. These cattle are environmentally adapted to tropical and subtropical climates, making them highly desirable to cattlemen from countries with the similar climate conditions.
During fiscal year 2006-2007, the division organized two beef cattle trade missions through the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. (USLGE), a cooperator with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These missions included trade missions to Costa Rica and Colombia.
In Costa Rica, representatives from the Department, the USDA Agricultural Attaché office, and the University of Florida held a one-day seminar for local cattlemen on cattle management practices in the tropics. The delegation also visited local ranches and discussed the benefits of Florida livestock genetics. This program gives foreign buyers of Florida cattle the ability to plan, control, and adopt management strategies to ensure that the Florida cattle they purchase will produce more beef more efficiently.
The Department traveled to Medellin, Colombia, with a Florida cattle industry representative for the World Brahman Congress. This event is held every two years in a different country and attended by thousands of cattlemen from all over the world.
Representatives from Florida traveled to David, Panama, in March to meet with cattlemen during the Expica cattle show, one of the largest cattle shows in Central America. In addition to meeting with cattlemen from throughout Latin America, the delegation inspected ranches, a pineapple processing facility, and a hog farm.
During these trade missions, the Department has been evaluating potential participants for Florida reverse trade missions, with the focus on selling Florida agricultural products. These contacts provided invaluable opportunities to gain direct marketing knowledge and promote the Florida beef cattle industry.
Thoroughbred Horse Missions
Florida horses have long been prized in North American racing circles for their superb quality. Florida is home to some 600 Thoroughbred farms and training centers, with more than 75 percent of these located in the Ocala/Marion County area. Florida Thoroughbred farms, training centers, breeding, and racing stock create an economic impact estimated at $1 billion annually.
Trade contacts initiated by the Department have produced more than $3 million in Florida horse exports. More sales are expected as Florida marketing representatives continue to facilitate trade missions with foreign buyers. The division sent an equine trade mission to Italy and conducted four reverse trade missions for delegations from Korea, Italy, and Canada. These missions were co-hosted by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, with the purpose of enlightening or further educating foreign buyers on the quality and value of Florida’s equine industry.
Reciprocal visits from contacts made during the Italian mission are scheduled for August 2007 and April 2008 horse sales. Past mission attendees from Korea, Italy, Mexico, Canada, and Britain are expected to return during those times.