U.S.: Sunkist grower payments rise despite challenges in 2013

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U.S.: Sunkist grower payments rise despite challenges in 2013

It was a year marked by a Chinese ban on California citrus in April and frosts in December, but 2013 turned out to be a positive one for Sunkist Growers, recording a revenue of US$1 billion for its fourth year in a row. orange flesh

Figures released by the group show grower payments were up by more than 4% for the year, reaching US$873 million.

"Over the past year, we have made significant advances on key strategic initiatives to position Sunkist for long-term growth and profitability," Sunkist president Russell Hanlin said in a release.

"Acreage increases, the launch of the grower distribution program, the first year of our Ventura Coastal joint venture juice partnership, for-profit business gains and the headquarter building sale were significant business highlights of 2013."

The company added that Ventura Coastal LLC had greatly increased efficiencies for growers, while positive advances were seen in Sunkist's for-profit businesses.

"Our licensing team continues scouring the globe for opportunities and, as a result, Sunkist signed five new licensees in 2013," Hanlin said. The Sunkist brand is now used on 800 products in 86 countries.

Sunkist chairman Mark Gillette added that 'profitable and competitive returns' had allowed the cooperative to expand, incorporating a new grower-shipper, along with acreage increaess among existing packhouses.

"In addition, our growers are continuing to expand production of newer varieties that consumers favor to position Sunkist for further growth in the current marketplace," Gilette said.

During the period, Sunkist also sold its Sherman Oaks headquarters property and purchased a new building in Valencia, California.

"As with any business, the produce industry faces many challenges and opportunities, we try to remain focused on our opportunities," Sunkist vice president of sales and marketing Kevin Fiori said.

"Sunkist is well positioned for growth in the years to come, and we look forward to continuing to provide high-quality fruit to customers and consumers worldwide."

Photo: www.shutterstock.com



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