Hawkins says the animated video helps make the message more relevant nationwide, as video from a farm in Florida might not be as relevant to consumers or growers in Texas.
“The animation gave us the opportunity to tell the simple ‘Don’t Move Citrus’ story in a familiar context that was universally appealing regardless of geography,” he said.
He also mentioned that the development of the video allowed for the use of color, movement, and a voiceover in multiple languages, which saved time and money for the department.
Hawkins said one of the most important things that can be done is to educate consumers that citrus is still safe to eat.
“It is very important that with all the buzz about citrus disease, retailers continue to promote the fact that citrus is safe to eat, nutritious, and a staple of the American diet,” he said.
“People can’t get these citrus diseases,” he said, referencing that consumers can be concerned that the diseases could affect the safety of the product, so retailers need to reassure them.
In regards to safe handling practices, he said that retailers can market citrus as usual.
“Retailers of citrus fruit can continue to market product normally since regulations dictate handling procedures that ensure the fruit cannot spread the disease,” Hawkins said.
However, he also warned that consumers, as well as Internet retailers, of nursery stock should take special care to buy and sell citrus that complies with USDA regulations.