This EXCEL worksheet will provide a method of analyzing the cost that may be attributed to compliance with regulations.
Before using the Compliance Cost Forms, it is suggested that you print out an example copy as a reference point. Since there are some very specific terms used on the forms, you might also want to print out the Instructions sheets. You may review the program by opening the relevant compliance form listed below.
To save a working copy of the Compliance Costs Survey Forms, right click on either form ,and then left click "Save target as..." to save to your disk. Or, you can open the Excel file from the internet and then do a "Save As" and place the working copy on your computer.
After you have completed the survey, please attach the file to an email and send to Ron Muraro via the email address shown on the survey form..
Compliance Costs – The “Phantom Costs” of Florida's Citrus Industry
As citrus growers and harvesters in Florida, we constantly have to deal with higher costs of production. Additionally, our time is no longer just spent growing citrus; it is increasingly spent filling out reams of paper and answering to layers of bureaucracy. We normally do not write checks for such things as: the time it takes to fill out the hundreds of forms each year, the time we go to class for training, the endless hours we spend trying to understand all of the regulations, or the small costs such as stamps to send in reports, copying forms, telephone calls to help us digest the instructions, and meetings with regulators and agency officials to work out any issues that arise. Like it or not these things cost us both time and money and are known as “phantom costs” of production. Some contend that this is just a cost of doing business.
If complying with regulations is a cost of doing business, then there should be some accounting for these costs. Amazingly, we have not been able to find this type of information for any agricultural crop produced in the United States. Perhaps this is the reason during a March 2003 meeting in Washington D.C., the Florida Agriculture Trade and Task Force continued to educate surprised governmental representatives about how the environmental and conservation land use regulations continue to preclude growers from being able to efficiently compete in a global marketplace. If for no other reason this exercise may help you become more aware of why it is tougher each year to make a profit.
A group of Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) members, on behalf of all Florida growers, created a project to determine compliance costs for growers and harvesters. The University of Florida IFAS CREC, the Florida Department of Citrus, and Florida Citrus Mutual are working with, and assisting the PRVCGA. In addition to those listed, the following citrus associations and organizations have also endorsed the compliance cost project: Citrus Grower Associates, Inc., Gulf Citrus Growers Association, Inc., Highlands County Citrus Growers Association, Inc., and Indian River Citrus League.
It is important to understand that there is no correct answer. What we seek to accomplish is to provide a reasonable range of numbers, associated with compliance for citrus growers in Florida. These values should fairly represent a broad range of growers, and what they believe to be their cost of compliance. This is a completely voluntary initiative and this is where we need your help. Once we get enough confidential information back from the growers and harvesters, we can then establish an economic range of values based on all of the forms that we receive.
The survey data forms developed on Excel worksheets are straightforward. They allow you to tailor your information to fit your operation. Much of the information that you put into this form is going to be your “best guess.” We would suggest that you get a few different people from your operation and complete this form together. We estimate that it will take roughly 30 minutes. If you decided to dig real deep and try to come up with an extremely accurate number it may take longer. What we value most is your opinion on what each of these items cost in terms of labor or hard dollars. Feel free to footnote anything that you believe is important about your costs or how you arrived at them. Again, the information gathered for this project will be treated as confidential , and when received, the survey form will be assigned a random number only for accounting purposes. The information will be gathered by IFAS and handled by a few selected people at IFAS. Only the final compiled results will be published; not the individual survey data forms. Feel free to be candid. We believe that this exercise may be eye opening, especially when you truly consider how much time and money you spend in your operation to be fully compliant with all laws and regulations as a Florida citrus grower.
The survey data forms can be obtained by either contacting Ron Muraro at the CREC in Lake Alfred (863-956-1151) or from the CREC website. Preferably the completed survey forms will be returned electronically to Ron Muraro via his CREC email address shown on the front of survey form.