Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried today joined Florida growers at a Subway restaurant in Tallahassee to highlight a Fresh From Florida-Subway partnership promoting Florida-grown produce. From March 1 through April 30, nearly 1,500 participating Subway locations will use Fresh From Florida seasonal produce.
“Florida’s hard-working farmers make it easy for everyone to enjoy fresh, local produce any time of the year,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “Florida’s farmers grow the world’s best seasonal produce. We’re proud to partner with Subway, one of Florida’s largest restaurant chains, to highlight the availability and affordability of that produce and Fresh From Florida’s proven return on investment.”
The partnership has been a success for both Subway and Fresh From Florida, and comes at no cost to taxpayers. In 2017, Subway purchased approximately 60 million pounds of Florida-grown cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes, and in 2018 bought 74 million pounds of seasonal produce from Florida growers.
“As a proud Subway restaurant owner, using fresh, locally-grown produce helps me serve my customers a great product at a great price,” said Subway franchise owner Brian Smith. “Fresh From Florida and Subway is a natural partnership that supports regional farmers, our local economies, and our mission to help people ‘eat fresh.’”
“Lipman Family Farms is a major grower of the Florida-grown tomatoes that Subway buys – and Fresh From Florida helps keep Florida growers competitive in the marketplace,” said Scott Rush, Director of Lipman Local for Lipman Family Farms. “People can choose produce from anywhere, and Fresh From Florida keeps farms like ours front-of-mind for consumers and everyone who buys fresh produce.”
Fresh From Florida – Florida’s agricultural marketing program – supports Florida growers and helps market their products across the nation and globally. Through partnerships with retail grocery stores, trade shows, and more, the program encourages use of the “Fresh From Florida” logo to increase the purchase of Florida-grown commodities.
Fresh From Florida achieves a $22 return on investment for every $1 invested. The program helps fuel Florida’s second-largest industry, generating $125 million in annual sales for Florida’s farmers and ranchers, and $700 million in sales from trade shows since 2013. Fresh From Florida brand awareness has nearly doubled among consumers since 2013, helping Florida growers reach more than 70 million consumers. The Department’s 2019-20 budget asks state lawmakers for $10.8 million to fund this important program.
Locations participating in the Subway and Fresh From Florida partnership include nearly 1,500 stores across the Tallahassee, Gainesville, Orlando, Ft. Myers, Miami, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, and Panama City markets.