New Limeco is preparing for the 2017 Florida avocado season by adding new growers and an additional 300 acres of groves. ( New Limeco )

New Limeco adds 300 acres

Princeton, Fla.-based New Limeco is gearing up for the 2017 Florida crop with new growers and an additional 300 acres of groves.

New Limeco’s sister company Acosta Farms grows and manages close to 1,100 acres of green-skinned Florida avocados, which are picked, cooled and packed and then marketed by New Limeco, said general manager Eddie Caram.

“With the planting of later varieties, we should be picking all the way through next March if all goes well this year and there are no storms,” Caram said.

Years ago packing ended in early January, he said. Last year, New Limeco and other Florida growers finished early due to the lack of fruit.


M&M Farm invests in cooling equipment

Miami-based M&M Farm is replacing its mild steel hydro-cooler with a new stainless steel unit to enhance its commitment to food safety. “It will be basically the same size, with our existing Pulse water treatment monitor plus increased cooling options,” president and CEO Manny Hevia said.

M&M is also installing new refrigeration units in its bulk storage cooler, palletizing cooler and packed fruit cooler. “The existing units are operating well but as we get some years into them, we feel that being pro-active is a good investment for us and, ultimately, the consumer,” Hevia said.


Unity Groves Corp. boosts acreage

Homestead, Fla.-based grower-shipper Unity Groves Corp. has expanded its avocado groves by about 500 acres this year for a total of 1,600 acres, president Louie Carricarte said.

“It was a matter of timing and opportunity,” Carricarte said. “It’s a good product and our programs continue to do well.”

He said Unity has also installed two packing lines, for a total of three, and increased its cooler space and capacity, primarily for avocados. Another new line is being used for limes.

To promote a more consistent avocado supply throughout the season, which runs from the end of May to January and occasionally February, Carricarte said Unity has been planting better varieties and done a lot of grafting.