Sunkist welcomes new packinghouse member

August 5, 2008, - Cal Citrus Packing Co. Inc, a well-known grower/shipper in the California citrus industry, is the newest member of Sunkist Growers, the grower-owned citrus marketing cooperative headquartered in Sherman Oaks, California.

"We’re looking forward to our affiliation with Sunkist,” said Jerry Luallen, President of Cal Citrus. “We have an excellent product and Sunkist has an excellent marketing network and a brand name that is known around the world. Sunkist has been streamlining operations, reducing costs and greatly expanding the opportunities it offers to growers and shippers. We’ve watched the changes and seen the results and we’re excited about joining Sunkist and enjoying the benefits of membership.”

Cal Citrus is a premier grower, packer and shipper of fresh citrus, headquartered in Lindsay, California in the heart of California's Central Valley. With a product list that includes Navel and Valencia oranges, and lemons, Cal Citrus brings 2,000 acres of citrus into the Sunkist system. The fruit will continue to be packed under the familiar Portokali, Seabiscuit, Sugar Test, Jungle Cat, Golden Boy and My Goodness labels – and now it will also wear the Sunkist brand.

"We're extremely pleased to welcome Cal Citrus into Sunkist," said Russ Hanlin, Sunkist’s President-Elect. "They are a very experienced and respected grower and packer, known for their customer service. The affiliation brings to our system a large supply quality citrus and a philosophy of excellence that matches our own." Cal Citrus is projected to add 40,000 field cartons of lemons, 1.1 million field cartons of Navels and 125,000 field cartons of Valencias to Sunkist’s portfolio for the 2008-09 season.

“We have been growing and harvesting for nearly a century and packing and shipping since the 1950s.” said Luallen. “We have years of experience and dedication in producing a great product.”

Cal Citrus traces its beginning to the founding of Luallen Soil Service, which began purchasing a base of investor ranches that soon grew to 1,500 acres. As the company continued to grow it purchased a packinghouse in 1969, establishing Cal Citrus Packing Company. In 1976, Cal Citrus bought the former Waddel Packing in Lindsay and in 1981 it established a third packinghouse, also in Lindsay, which now houses the company’s current citrus bagging operation.

“We are very proud of our Central California ‘Lindsay Citrus Belt’ heritage,” said Luallen, “and we are committed to maintaining our reputation of quality and integrity and expanding our marketing reach through Sunkist.”