CORRECTED: One of Florida’s largest citrus grower-shippers is expanding its portfolio.
During the upcoming season, IMG Citrus Inc. plans to market fruit for Vero Beach, Fla.-based United Indian River Packers Inc.
The addition expands the Vero Beach-based IMG’s volume by 20%, said Matt Kastensmidt, domestic sales manager.
For more than 20 years, United marketed citrus through DNE World Fruit Sales in Fort Pierce, Fla.
T.P. Kennedy, United’s vice president, said the grower-shipper enjoyed a positive relationship with DNE for more than 20 years but said he felt IMG’s large domestic sales presence remains better positioned for future growth.
Kastensmidt said the addition should provide customers additional Indian River and central Florida fruit.
“They have an impeccable reputation and have been growing Florida citrus since the early 1900s,” Kastensmidt said. “They have extensive knowledge of the business and extensive acreage throughout the state. We are thrilled with this partnership and see it leading to other great things.”
For the 2012-13 season, IMG packed 1.6 million equivalent cartons of grapefruit, oranges and tangerines, Kastensmidt said.
United packed 796,300 equivalent cartons, mostly of red grapefruit but also additional volumes of oranges, tangerines and tangelos, he said.
According to statistics from the Florida Citrus Administrative Committee, Lakeland, IMG’s Vero Beach packinghouse is the state’s largest single packinghouse.
IMG also markets fruit for grapefruit packer Hogan & Sons Inc., Vero Beach, and Blue Ribbon Citrus Packers, a Dundee, Fla., tangerine packinghouse.
About 20% of United’s fruit is sold domestically, Kennedy said.
Corrected: This article originally incorrectly stated IMG’s packinghouse rank.