The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) in May proposed a preliminary 2022–23 operating budget of $31.4 million to the Florida Citrus Commission, its governing body. The 2021–22 operating budget was $29 million.
Global marketing and public relations represent the bulk of the 2022–23 budget at $22.9 million, a 3.5% reduction from the previous season.
The proposed orange budget will increase in fiscal year 2022–23 by $3.6 million to $26.9 million. The grapefruit figure is proposed at $3.9 million, a decrease of $89,000 from the current year. The proposed fresh orange budget totals $371,000, a decrease of $343,000 from the current year. Additionally, the proposed fresh specialty figure is $142,000, a decrease of $68,000 over this season.
The budget includes $20.625 million in state general revenue funding to support marketing, research and administration. This general revenue allocation is pending approval by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The preliminary budget also includes $3.9 million in Foreign Agricultural Service Market Access Program funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be used on international programs.
Also included is a $143,000 increase in administrative costs to cover an across-the-board salary increase for state employees as well as associated increases to benefits and a general counsel position.
The preliminary revenue is based on an estimate of 35 million boxes of oranges, 3.6 million boxes of grapefruit and 800,000 boxes of specialty citrus grown in Florida next season. Grower assessment rate assumptions remain the same as the current year at 5 cents per box for fresh oranges, 12 cents for processed oranges and 7 cents for grapefruit and specialty citrus.
A final preliminary budget will be presented for approval in June, with updates based on FCC direction. A revised budget, based on the season’s first USDA forecast, will be presented in October 2021. Grower assessments rates will also be approved in October.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
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