South African citrus promotions through Seald Sweet International in more than 80 Defense Commissary Agency stores this summer will help give back to the military community.
South African Summer navels and clementines were highlighted in late July at product demonstrations in the military commissaries in Florida and Virginia, according to a news release from Seald Sweet, Vero Beach, Fla.
At the end of the import season, Seald Sweet plans to donate a portion of sales to Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports wounded service members and their families, said Kim Flores, marketing manager for Seald Sweet.
“The more we sell, the more we give,” she said.
An airmen at Patrick Air Force Base, near Cocoa Beach, Fla., greets Piet Smit, president of Cedarpack Pty. Ltd., Citrusdal, South Africa. Smit attended commissary demo events in the Eastern U.S. in late July representing the (South African) Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum (WCCPF). A portion of the promotion, a joint effort by Seald Sweet, the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum and the Military Produce Group will be donated to the Fisher House Foundation to help meet the needs of wounded soldiers and their families. Import promotions to benefit Fisher House run through the end of September, and Flores said Seald Sweet is looking into a similar Fisher House tie-in promotion for domestic fruit.
Flores said there is a quick-response code on bags of South African citrus to allow shoppers with smartphones to link to Fisher House to contribute.
“We are delighted that Seald Sweet has donated to the Fisher House program for the past four years, based on sales of its citrus products through the military’s commissary system,” Fisher House Foundation vice president Jim Weiskopf said in a news release. “The donations from Seald Sweet have assisted the families of wounded service members as well as provide scholarship grants to their children.”
The late July promotions for the first time featured a South African grower to help answer questions from consumers about growing practices and other topics.
Samples of fresh South African navels and clementines point-of-sale information were available to consumers.
The promotion is a joint effort between Seald Sweet, the South African Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum and the Military Produce Group to run promotions in Defense Commissary Agency stores in the Eastern half of the U.S.
Even though commissary customers typically favor U.S. grown food, Flores said the promotion gave consumers an opportunity learn how Southern Hemisphere fruit can be complementary to U.S. fruit seasons.
“(The promotions) really gave us the opportunity to educate the customers on the availability of these commodities and that they are available when U.S. grown citrus is not in season.”