- On the occasion of former FFVA President John C. Norris’ induction into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame, we take a look back on his service to FFVA.
From The Harvester, first quarter 1995
FFVA President John Norris
In his relatively new role as president of FFVA, John Norris boils his primary agenda down to one work: communications. “If there’s anything that overrides everything else, it’s communications,” says Norris. “I don’t see anything else being accomplished without it.”
Accomplishments and John Norris seem to go hand-in-hand. His professional experience includes his current role as president and CEO of Turner Foods Corporation, as well as previously serving as president of Agri+Lan Inc. and vice president of Alandco, both subsidiaries of Florida Power & Light.
Norris originally learned about FFVA while working at Coca-Cola Foods as grove operations manager. Though his company was not a member, FFVA’s reputation in labor relations and environmental issues was well-known at Coke. Since then, Norris has become actively involved in FFVA leadership, sharing the experience that comes from service for more than a dozen Florida agricultural organizations and causes.
In his career, Norris has seen a definite shift in agriculture’s attitude toward the environment. “Like most every farmer in Florida, I have concerns for the environment. Without those concerns, we probably wouldn’t be in the business we’re in. There have been mistakes in the past, and we’ve got to acknowledge those mistakes, make corrections and move on. But we’ve got to let people know we do take care of the environment and that we can have sustainable agriculture.”
Communicating agriculture’s message to lawmakers is another priority for Norris. Government regulators and legislators, he says, fail to understand agriculture and what growers try to accomplish. He feels agricultural organizations need to work together to educate governmental leaders about the role Florida growers have in providing so much of the nation’s food supply.
Regarding his next two years of leadership at FFVA, Norris says, “I am honored to have been asked to serve as president of FFVA. But what has to be done I cannot do alone. I can tell you now that I will be leaning on the association’s membership and staff to help bring about meaningful change for our industry.”