According to the Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign (FAPC), the majority of Florida’s 47,000 agricultural producers are small farmers, and as such, lack the resources to individually market their products. Luckily, that is exactly where the “Fresh From Florida” marketing program can help.
Consumers and retailers worldwide recognize the hallmark “Fresh From Florida” logo as a trusted indicator of high-quality, fresh, Florida-grown produce, meat and seafood. This brand awareness delivers numerous benefits to FAPC members, including opportunities to attract new business and increase sales.
“At trade shows, the ‘Fresh From Florida’ pavilion is a very attractive option for Florida growers that want priority location and increased traffic without the hassle of bringing or setting up their own booth,” says Tom Perny, supervisor of international trade development for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). “We offer a whole package of graphics and signage to ‘Fresh From Florida’ co-exhibitors at a flat-rate and discounted price.”
These trade shows also offer buyers and producers a chance to meet in person, which is more personal than sending an introduction via email. By helping develop these key relationships, “Fresh From Florida” has increased product demand while promoting global awareness of Florida-grown products – a win-win for all players within the ag industry, including commodity groups.
Florida Watermelon Association (FWA)
“The FWA and ‘Fresh From Florida’ have been working together for over 20 years promoting Florida-grown watermelons,” says Debra Harrison, promotions coordinator for the FWA. “In past years, we’ve teamed up with ‘Fresh From Florida’ to arrange meet-and-greets at local retail grocery stores with our Florida Queens, who are promotional ambassadors for our industry. Florida Queens educate the public on watermelon’s nutrition benefits, value and versatility at schools, festivals, races and stores.”
The FWA and “Fresh From Florida” also team up for events throughout the year such as festivals like the Annual Watermelon Festival held in Monticello-Jefferson County; the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit; University of Florida’s Ag Day; the Taste of Florida Agriculture event at the state Capitol; promotions at Winn-Dixie and Walmart grocery stores; and many more.
From April to June 2019, FWA ran a 56-by-29-foot LED billboard ad in Times Square, as well as three different commercials, to reach approximately 8 million consumers. The ad featured the “Fresh From Florida” logo, garnering additional recognition for Florida’s producers.
See more: How to Pick Out a Perfect Watermelon
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) & Sunshine Sweet Corn Farmers of Florida (SSCFF)
“Partnering with ‘Fresh From Florida’ is a significant benefit for our members, who benefit from the program’s efforts in marketing Florida products in the U.S. and globally,” says Lisa Lochridge, director of public affairs for the FFVA. “We strongly support what they do, and every year we work to ensure that the legislature sufficiently funds the program.”
FFVA offers all producer members the benefits of the “Fresh From Florida” marketing program. Additionally, SSCFF has been working closely with “Fresh From Florida” since 2012 to run extensive campaigns that increase brand recognition and marketing reach across the East Coast. These promotions include in-store circulars, display contests, in-store retail discounts, special signage and premium product positioning in thousands of retail stores in the U.S. and Canada.
“SSCFF promotions generally run for four weeks during the height of our spring season and leverage ‘Fresh From Florida’ relationships to ensure products are prominently displayed on shelves and in advertisements,” says Tori Bradley, commodity services and supply chain manager for SSCFF. She has also found the “Fresh From Florida” staff’s knowledge of commodity marketing to be a tremendous benefit.
Indeed, whether producers are large or small, recent start-ups or have been in business for generations, the “Fresh From Florida” program is an invaluable partner that both enhances and supports local agriculture to the benefit of all growers.