‘Berry good bill’ to make strawberry shortcake Florida’s official state dessert clears final Senate committee

Delicious strawberry shortcake with whipped cream.
'The economic impact of strawberries in this state is profound.'

A proposal to create Florida’s official state dessert moved closer to reality Thursday when it cruised smoothly through its final Senate committee with nary a jam.

The Senate Rules Committee unanimously approved SB 1006, which would establish strawberry shortcake as the state’s primo post-dinner delicacy. The bill previously cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee with identical support.

Its sponsor, Sen. Danny Burgess of Zephyrhills, spoke briefly on behalf of his “berry good” bill, which is a companion to one Reps. Lawrence McClure of Dover and Demi Busatta Cabrera of Coral Gables filed in November.

“Probably my most controversial bill of the Legislative Session, SB 1006, is the bill you’ve been waiting for,” Burgess said. “I have the great honor, with my colleague in the House … of representing the greater Plant City area. There are more than 10,000 acres of strawberries annually planted, which makes up 75% of the country’s winter strawberry production.

“The economic impact of strawberries in this state is profound, and … as fun as this bill is, it recognizes a very serious contribution to one of the pillars of our community, which is our agricultural community.”

While it’s easily the sweetest piece of legislation to move through Tallahassee this Session, Burgess wasn’t juicing up how fruitful strawberries are to the state economy. Hillsborough County produces roughly 15% of the nation’s strawberries and virtually all the berries grown during the winter, according to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, which said the 20 million flats of strawberries produced yearly has a more than $700 million economic impact on the community.

That figure is growing, according to McClure.

“The Florida strawberry is our economic driver, almost a billion-dollar economic impact,” he told the House Public Integrity and Elections Committee last week. “So, this bill is really meant to bring some fun attention to what drives our economy.”

But unlike Burgess’ bill, which sailed through the Senate, several lawmakers picked at the House version, worried about its effect on Florida’s official state pie, Key lime.

“As a fan of Key lime pie, I have a little concern that this would prioritize it as a state dessert,” said Rep. Erin Grall, who suggested altering the bill to designate the sweet as a state cake instead of a dessert.

Rep. Blaise Ingoglia joked that passing the bill could open the state to lawsuits from the “Key lime pie lobby.” He then suggested a substitute dessert: the cannoli, which he said made sense “with all the influx of New Yorkers coming to the state of Florida fleeing lockdown.”

An analysis of the House bill, which advanced but still awaits a hearing in the chamber’s State Affairs Committee, shows Florida’s strawberry industry is the second-largest producing region.


Kelly Hayes of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Mark

    January 20, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    With all the concerns the average citizen has we are focused on cake and pie. We put legislators in office to make life better and they worry about cake and pie.

    • Phil Morton

      January 21, 2022 at 6:49 am

      I agree with Mark but if we’re wasting time on a state dessert then it should be Blueberry Stuff.

  • just a comment

    January 21, 2022 at 8:40 am

    I like key lime it is unique to the small lime that grows in Florida.plus most strawberries are selling from California.

  • Kathy

    January 21, 2022 at 9:38 am

    Because we have nothing else to worry about. This is our “representation”. They are so busy with this bullshit, you can’t get an appointment with them.

  • Tom P.

    January 22, 2022 at 8:47 am

    If we’re gonna have an official state desert, it should be Key Lime Pie. No other state has true “Key” limes!

    • Jenna

      January 22, 2022 at 9:15 am

      l just g0t pald over 140 D0IIars per hour w0rking from h0me. I never thought l’d be capable to do lt but my best buddy gets 0ver 19584 D0IIars a m0nth d0ing this and she c0nvinced me t0 try.

      For DetaiIs……. 𝗕𝗹𝗶𝗽𝗜𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝟭.𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗲.𝘀𝗵

  • polk county

    January 23, 2022 at 10:30 am

    Someone went to the strawberry fair.This must be a Polk county advertisement. a place to come to and bring your money bags along. time to start stealing the keys tourism it is sad they bulldoze and use the farmer most likely try and take over ownership of the land and fair

  • polk county

    January 23, 2022 at 10:40 am

    the only profound thing in Florida was the orange fields That took up a lot of land but disease fixed it for more commercial planning.

Comments are closed.


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