Ocean Spray’s 38th Grapefruit Harvest Underway in Florida
Grower-Owners report good quality as they begin their annual deliveries to
LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass. -- December 19, 2013
Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., a grower-owned cooperative, today announced
that the grapefruit harvest is underway in the Indian River region of Florida,
where the grapefruit grower-owners have begun deliveries of this season’s red
and white varieties. Harvesting began in early October and will run through
April. Ocean Spray’s more than 35 grapefruit grower-owners report that
although the season is off to a slow start, the quality is good and they are
optimistic the citrus harvest will pick up in the coming weeks. Growers are
currently spot picking to deliver the best fresh fruit to market. Over the
next five months, Ocean Spray’s grower-owners will deliver just over 1.6
million boxes of grapefruit to the Cooperative.
“Although we’re known for our cranberries, Ocean Spray is proud to be a part
of the Florida citrus harvest,” said Paul Stajduhar, Ocean Spray’s Vice
President of Cooperative Development. “The Cooperative expanded to include
grapefruit growers over 30 years ago and we continue to drive industry product
innovation and lead the grapefruit juice category today.”
“The Ocean Spray brand provides citrus growers with tremendous value,” said
Cody Estes, President of Estes Citrus and Ocean Spray Grower-Owner. “When
consumers see that logo, they know they are getting the highest quality citrus
on the market.”
The grapefruit groves of Ocean Spray’s growers are located within a two hour
drive of the Cooperative’s receiving facilities in Vero Beach, Fla. to ensure
the freshest possible fruit. The soft-squeezed grapefruits will primarily
support both Ocean Spray’s Ruby Red and 100% Juice Line, including the new
Citrus 100% Juice Blends, as well as 100% White Grapefruit Juice and 100% Ruby
Red Grapefruit Blend, all of which provide a daily dose of vitamin C and two
full servings of fruit which can help consumers meet their recommended daily
fruit intake. The 100% juice line is part of Ocean Spray’s commitment to
providing consumers with a wide variety of products and calorie options to
suit every lifestyle and occasion.
Ocean Spray expanded beyond cranberries in 1976 when grapefruit growers from
Florida’s Indian River region joined the cooperative. “Florida citrus growers
deal with a lot of uncertainties,” said Estes. “With everything from weather
to currency fluctuation potentially affecting our bottom line, being a part of
the Cooperative provides a huge value in terms of planning and budgeting. It
removes some of the uncertainties and allows us to focus on managing our
groves and growing the best grapefruit in the world.”
Unlike cranberries, grapefruit aren’t native to North America. They were
brought to Florida from the West Indies in the 1820s. Florida made its first
shipment of grapefruits to the ports of New York and Philadelphia in 1885,
launching the beginnings of the modern commercial grapefruit industry.
*Roughly 40 percent of the Florida grapefruit harvested each season are
used for juice. The other 60 percent are sold as fresh grapefruit.
*One acre of a grove can produce some 400-700 boxes of grapefruit. 700
boxes of grapefruit weigh in at almost 60,000 pounds.
*In a productive year, a single grapefruit tree can generate 1,300 to 1,500
pounds of fruit.
*Grapefruit is believed to be a hybrid of the pomelo with the sweet orange.
*The grapefruit now has the scientific name Citrus X paradise.
About Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray is a vibrant agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700
cranberry and grapefruit growers in the United States, Canada and Chile who
have helped preserve the family farming way of life for generations. Formed in
1930, Ocean Spray is now the world’s leading producer of cranberry juices,
juice drinks and dried cranberries and is the best-selling brand in the
bottled juice category. The cooperative’s cranberries are currently featured
in more than a thousand great-tasting, good-for-you products in over 50
countries worldwide. With more than 2,000 employees and nearly 20 cranberry
receiving and processing facilities, Ocean Spray is committed to managing our
business in a way that respects our communities, employees and the
environment. In fiscal year 2013, Ocean Spray posted gross sales of $2.2
billion and net proceeds of $380 million. For more information visit
www.oceanspray.com or our corporate blog at www.insidethecranberry.com.
Kellyanne Dignan, 508-923-3205
Weber Shandwick for Ocean Spray
Lea Cademenos, 617-520-7049
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