(UPDATED COVERAGE, July 25) (CORRECTED) With the acquisition of Healds Valley Farms, Paramount Citrus Association adds thousands of Texas acres and Healds red grapefruit to its operations.
Officials with Delano-Calif.-based Paramount said the addition of red grapefruit will provide greater variety to their customers.
In addition to a new commodity, Paramount’s customers will have access to new Paramount distribution centers in the McAllen, Texas, area.
Paramount president David Krause said with the grapefruit and the Healds distribution centers, the acquisition will strengthen and diversify Paramount.
“Our growth strategy at Paramount Citrus is to focus on both product quality and operational excellence,” Krause said.” We believe we’ve found both at Healds Valley — great citrus fruit produced by a top-notch organization.”
The three Healds distribution centers are part of the acquisition. Two are in Edinburg and the third is in Mission, Texas.
Burnes Krause said Healds Valley, Edinburg, Texas, will retain its work force and management. The only immediate personnel change is the addition of Rick Burnes, Paramount’s vice president of supply chain, who joins Healds Valley as general manager.
Burnes succeeds current general manager Yishai Yeshurun, who will step down, Paramount officials said. Burnes has been with Paramount almost 15 years, serving as vice president for supply chain for the past six years. He will relocate to Texas.
“The first couple days here have left me with a very positive impression,” Burnes said July 25. “Everyone we’ve met from the employees to the growers has been very welcoming.”
The Texas operation will continue to operate with the name Healds Valley Farms as a division of Paramount Citrus. Its fruit will still carry the Healds Valley Farms name. A Paramount spokesman said some Paramount-branded fruit will be made available to Healds customers.
Healds Valley grows grapefruit, oranges and tangerines on its 4,400 acres. It will provide Paramount access to another 6,000 acres operated by third-party growers. A Paramount spokesman said Healds has been shipping about 4 million cartons of fresh citrus annually.
Paramount officials said the company does not plan to change the Healds acreage. The Texas company’s existing citrus plantings will be retained.
Paramount specializes in citrus, with growing, packing and shipping operations for clementines, mandarins, navel and valencia oranges, lemons and limes. This year the company plans to ship more than 15 million cartons of fresh citrus from more than 42,000 acres it owns and manages.
(Note on correction: Because of inaccurate information provided by a source, the original version of this story incorrectly reported the locations of the distribution centers. Two are in Edinburg and the third is in Mission, Texas.)