When a Florida Food & Farm writer and photographer decided to check the labels on the back of the produce in the ‘Fresh from Florida’ section, he noticed something odd. The cucumbers (photographed below with country-of-origin label showing), to the left of the BellaFina baby bell peppers, actually hail from Honduras!
According to state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ website, “Through the ‘Fresh From Florida’ brand, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services works to raise awareness for the high quality products produced in Florida and promote the sale of Florida-grown commodities. Florida farmers and ranchers who join the Fresh From Florida Program benefit from advertising, retail partnerships and use of the widely recognized ‘Fresh From Florida’ logo.”
We at Florida Food & Farm laud the state for its efforts, and we hope that Publix, and any other grocery stores using mislabeling such as this, will be more vigilant in the future. (Note: The cucumbers were the only non-Florida products in this section.)
Once again, caveat emptor … let the buyer beware. Don’t assume, just because produce is in the section marked “Fresh From Florida,” that it actually is from the Sunshine State.
And it’s easy to find out: Simply turn the package around to see where the food originated.