Florida citrus business updates

11/21/2011 12:10:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Doug OhlemeierIMG Citrus Inc. upgraded its packing line by installing a grader constructed by MAF Industries Inc.

Florida Classic Growers finishes building project

The Dundee Citrus Growers Association, Dundee, Fla., has expanded one of its warehouses.

The grower increased the capacity of its Lake Hamilton, Fla., warehouse to pack fruit for gift fruit and fundraising markets. The expansion also houses a packing line and refrigerated storage for the grower-shipper’s emerging peach production.

The addition adds 60,000-square feet of capacity, which includes the 15,000-square-foot peach cooler, said Al Finch, vice president of sales and marketing for Florida Classic Growers, Dundee’s Lake Hamilton-based marketing arm.

Dundee completed the building in mid-September.

IMG Citrus Inc. installs improved MAF grader

IMG Citrus Inc., Vero Beach, Fla., upgraded its packinghouse.

The grower-shipper during the off-season installed a grader constructed by MAF Industries Inc., Traver, Calif. The equipment provides global scanning technology.

Considered the latest in packing line technology, the machinery photographs 40 photos of each piece of fruit, and provides for more packing efficiencies, better sizings and improved blemish grading, said Matt Kastensmidt, IMG’s national sales manager.

“This improvement will allow us to continue to ship the highest quality fruit out of this packinghouse,” Kastensmidt said.

The packing line changes should help as IMG acquires more groves, he said.

On the food safety front, IMG over the summer achieved compliance with Global Trade Identification Numbers.

IMG plans to apply GTIN barcodes to every carton and provide complete traceability for the fruit, Kastensmidt said.

Kastensmidt also said IMG is the first Florida packinghouse to achieve Global Food Safety Initiative certification from Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Primus Labs. IMG received a superior Primus rating over the summer.

In other news, IMG is marketing fruit grown by Blue Ribbon Citrus, Dundee, Fla.

Kastensmidt said the central Florida tangerine packinghouse should add 150,000 cartons to IMG’s 300,000 carton tangerine deal.

IMG plans to ship around 2 million equivalent-cartons of grapefruit, oranges and tangerines from 5,000 Indian River region and central Florida acres, up from 1.5 million cartons it shipped last season.



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