Federal Orange Juice Marketing Program Under Consideration

Florida Oranges
Posted at 3:34 PM, Jun 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-09 14:43:22-04

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) - A proposal to set up a federal orange juice marketing program to supplement an effort by the Florida Department of Citrus is coming under scrutiny.

The Ledger of Lakeland ( reports the triple whammy of higher imports, smaller crops and the continuing decline in orange juice sales led the state's citrus commission to consider creating a federal OJ marketing program that would tax imports at the same rates Florida growers pay.

The Citrus Department hasn't taxed imported orange juice for marketing purposes since 2003 when it settled a lawsuit brought by five major importers arguing the constitution gives the federal government the sole power to levy import duties.

But USDA rules do not permit marketing the state or region of origin, a major stumbling block for citrus officials