Business updates: Citrus Marketing - The Packer

Business updates: Citrus Marketing

01/25/2010 12:22:00 PM
Bob Luder

“We’re getting closer to shipping organic valencias year-round,” said Scott Owens, vice president of sales and marketing. “Because we’re such a large shipper, we believe it’s important that we be a complete, one-stop shop. We want to be a place where people can pick up the phone and pretty much find any item they want.

“Our organic valencia program is an important step toward that.”

Rio Queen works out of new packinghouse

After a fire took out one of its packinghouses in 2008, Mission, Texas-based Rio Queen Citrus Inc. constructed and opened a 147,000-square-foot packinghouse last spring.

“It’s very modern,” said Mike Martin, president. “We took a lot of time to work through and think about efficiencies. It’s really working out well.”

Rio Queen grows on 5,500 acres and ships between 2 million and 2.25 million cartons of grapefruit, and another 600,000-700,000 cartons of oranges annually.

Sunkist Growers unveils stand-up citrus bags

Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif., recently introduced its Giro “Stand Up Grab Bags” for minneola tangerines, cara caras, navels and moro blood oranges.

The new bag’s stand-up feature offers prominent display of the Sunkist brand with ample room for recipes and nutrition information as well as high visibility of the fruit.

The bags also come with a two-hole grip at the top for easy carrying.

Sun World International moves corporate offices

Sun World International Inc. recently moved its corporate offices downtown, into the heart of Bakersfield, Calif., said Gene Coughlin, category manager for oranges and lemons.

The company’s corporate offices had been located within its packinghouse on the outskirts of the city, but Coughlin said it was past time for an upgrade.

“It was kind of a space issue, upgrading our surroundings,” he said. “It gives us more of a business look, I guess.”

Texas Citrus Mutual battles citrus greening

Mission-based Texas Citrus Mutual’s Ray Prewett said his organization is “focusing a tremendous amount of energy on battling citrus greening,” including supporting research efforts at the University of Texas A&M-Kingsville.

This month, Prewett said Texas Citrus Mutual is going to be taking a more direct role in coordinating with growers on an area-wide psyllid control program.

“We’re going to be heavily involved in that,” Prewett said.

Valhalla Sales adds cara cara trees

Valhalla Sales & Marketing Co., Kingsburg, Calif., plans to add 20 acres of cara cara trees in 2010.

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