The Foundation provides support for specialty crop research with direct funding and contract management of Specialty Crop Block Grants. Research emphasis areas include:
Increasing Sales of Florida Peaches
The grant will increase the awareness of the Florida peach industry to both retail buyers as well as consumers, and also increase sales of peaches for Florida growers. The Foundation is managing this grant in collaboration with Fresh From Florida, which is handling the retail relationships and promotions.
Marketing Florida Peaches to Retailers and Consumers
Through cooperation with Fresh From Florida, both educational and promotional materials were developed to encourage retail promotion of Florida peaches during peak season. The program includes bonus incentives for retailers to feature Florida peaches in their circulation, as well as in-store promotions and samplings. Advertising to retailers appears in trade publications such as The Packer and Produce News.
Additionally, a statewide marketing campaign including digital and social advertising was incorporated to increase consumer awareness and likelihood to purchase.
Providing Wholesome but Unmarketable Produce to the Hungry
In collaboration with Feeding Florida and their Farmers Feeding Florida program, this grant focuses on increasing donations of wholesome (but unmarketable) fresh produce to people in need. The goal is to match produce pounds with serving level data to fully address food insecurity in the state. Two key areas of focus are Supply Chain management (e.g. logistics, packaging, processing and routing) and Produce Donation Development (e.g. sourcing donations, increasing participating by growers and suppliers).
Food Safety Recall Workshop
FFVA will be partnering with Dr. Martha Roberts; FDA recall coordinators; a food safety liability attorney;
and a grower who has been through a recall to better prepare growers to deal with a food safety recall incident. The workshop will cover key components of the process, including a crisis communications plan. Sessions will be offered at both the Gulf Coast Research Center and the Everglades Research Center.