Rick Eastes, a veteran of several leading produce companies, has joined citrus giant Seald Sweet International.

Eastes became vice president of West Coast operations for Seald Sweet Sept. 19, said Kim Flores, a company spokeswoman.

The news came a day after Seald Sweet announced it had partnered with Dinuba, Calif.-based Fresh Select on a major expansion of its West Coast business.

Seald Sweet West is moving its staff into Fresh Select’s 110,000-square-foot packing and cold-storage facility in Dinuba. Fresh Select will pack for Seald Sweet, allowing the company to substantially increase its California citrus volumes.

Eastes most recently worked as vice president of sales and marketing for Dinuba-based Fruit Patch Sales Inc., a position he left in August 2009.

He also has held top posts at Ballantine Produce Co. Inc., Sunkist Growers Inc. and The Oppenheimer Group.

About 2.5 million cartons of fresh citrus can be produced at the Fresh Select facility. Seald Sweet also will market grapes, cherries and other commodities packed at the facility.