Dole takes over SunnyRidge - The Packer

Dole takes over SunnyRidge

10/11/2011 05:52:00 PM
Coral Beach

In a move to increase its presence in the berry categories, Dole Food Co. Inc. has acquired SunnyRidge Farm Inc., Winter Haven, Fla.

Keith Mixon, president and chief executive officer of the family-owned SunnyRidge Farm, said Oct. 11 that all of his company’s employees would be retained, including the 100 or so in the offices in the Southeast U.S. Mixon will retain the title of president of SunnyRidge Farm, but will now report to Ray De Riggi, president of Dole Fresh Vegetables.

“Our common vision is to create a worldwide, all-berry company,” Mixon said. “We are very, very excited. The negotiations have been going on for a while.

“The goal is to continue with the same group of people we have put together, and that Dole already has, to create a new, complete, full line of berries under the Dole banner.”

SunnyRidge Farm has growers and company-owned acreage throughout Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Mexico. The company also works with growers in various other regions in North and South America to provide blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries year-round.

The SunnyRidge packers and shippers with facilities in the Southeast U.S., as well as Arkansas, Michigan, British Columbia, and Central and South America will continue to work with SunnyRidge to help Dole become a leader in the berry categories.

In a news release, Dole officials said the acquisition would provide a “strategic complement to our existing fresh and frozen berry operations, both of which have previously focused on strawberries.” According to the release from Dole, blueberries and blackberries are some of the fastest growing commodities in the produce category.

Mixon said he expects the new full line of berries to put Dole in the No. 2 or No. 3 spot in every traditional berry category. The SunnyRidge brand will be retained, Mixon said.

“We will also be able to offer our berries to Dole’s frozen and value-added lines of products,” Mixon said.



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Ed Hunter    
Hanover, Md  |  October, 12, 2011 at 09:31 AM

Good news for Berry customers! Sunnyridge teaming up with Dole will only strengthen Dole's presence in the East as a attractive, and competive berrie supplier.

Heidi Fernandez    
Winter Haven  |  October, 12, 2011 at 12:11 PM

I am now an official Dole Sunnyridge Employee. Although it is quite the change for both companies, it will be of beneft for both parties! Dole needs Sunnyridge to strive in their line of fruit, so why not complement them with the experience, knowlege, & access to make this work for both companies? This is Expansion in this industry! Proud & excited employee of this merge!

fasd    
mexico  |  October, 12, 2011 at 12:46 PM

dole vs driscolls ????

    
October, 12, 2011 at 02:53 PM

How about Sunnyridge vs Naturipe?

Carlos    
Mexico  |  October, 13, 2011 at 04:29 PM

Dole Sunnyridge exelente para la expacion de las berries habra un mercado mas extenso con esta fucion

John    
Atlanta  |  October, 17, 2011 at 04:38 PM

Dole can not leave a company with current management, that will take control, just look at their past. The Dole way is to cut costs, they will ruin a good company.

arnulfo    
plantcity  |  November, 17, 2011 at 10:41 PM

I AM GLAD I AM PART OF THIS EXPERIENCE.IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE WORKING WITH SUNNYRIDGE I HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR THIS COMPANY ABOUT 5 YEARS I HAVE LEARNED ALOT AND I HOPE I CAN LEARN ALOT MORE WITH THIS NEW EXPERIENCE WE ARE GOING THREW

Alfonso    
georgia  |  January, 19, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Well after they fail to take down the new berry center at Georgia OBC, and after loosing one of their big suppliers of blueberries in michigan, it was a given that they were not gonna be able to compete anymore thats why they sold it

Apple    
October, 23, 2012 at 03:52 AM

Hi, it's great to know that SunnyRidge is such a good company from someone inside it! I'd like to touch base with you, would you mind suggest your email? Thanks. My email: zhaoshengnan97@163.com

Sarah    
July, 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

So many changes have been made since this article was posted. I have been in several stores looking for the Sunnyridge name on their strawberries and there are none, they are all Dole. I have been in several stores looking for blueberries with the Sunnyridge name, there are none. Alfonso and John said it best; Dole will come in an tear the company apart and they did just that, on both the Sunnyridge and Dole side. I refuse to buy Dole.

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