Florida’s Natural Growers Donates to Citrus Research

For Immediate Release

Florida’s Natural Growers Announces Donation to Fight Citrus Greening

The Florida’s Natural Growers Board of Directors voted to donate $250,000 to fight citrus greening, a disease plaguing the Florida Citrus industry.  “As a Florida grower cooperative, it is important to combat this disease with every resource available.  This support of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation and their efforts to battle citrus greening is vital to the long term future of the Florida Citrus Industry,” commented Steve Caruso, Florida’s Natural Growers CEO.  The Cooperative’s Board of Directors showed their commitment to the fight with this significant donation to the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, the leader in citrus research against HLB. 

HLB, commonly known as citrus greening, is a bacterium that was confirmed in the State of Florida in 2005 and is evident in every citrus growing region in the State as well as other citrus growing regions worldwide.  The disease attacks the nutrient absorption of the citrus tree and leads to a rapid decline and eventual death.  “For the Florida Citrus Industry, HLB is the most important issue,” added Caruso.

About The Citrus Research and Development Foundation, Inc.

 The Citrus Research and Development Foundation Inc. (CRDF) is a Florida non-profit corporation organized in May 2009 under Florida State laws as a Direct Service Organization of the University of Florida.  The mission of the CRDF is to “advance disease and production research and product development activities to ensure the survival and competitiveness of Florida’s citrus growers through innovation.” 

 About Florida’s Natural Growers

First formed in 1933, the growers’ cooperative was named Florida Citrus Canners Cooperative, as its main function was canning grapefruit sections and juice for its grower members.  After the development of frozen concentrated juices in the 1940’s, the Cooperative invested in the necessary infrastructure and became one of the largest juice processors in the state.  In 1969, the Canners Cooperative eventually changed its name to Citrus World, Inc. to better reflect its diverse product line.  Today, the majority of the Cooperative’s sales are derived from the Florida’s Natural ® Brand.  The cooperative now uses Florida’s Natural Growers as its name.  Florida’s Natural® Brand is the only national brand of Not-From-Concentrate Premium juice that uses oranges From Florida and Only Florida™.

Florida’s Natural Growers is comprised of thirteen grower organizations representing almost 1,000 individual growers who own nearly 50,000 acres of citrus in Florida.  Florida’s Natural Growers operates its processing plant in Lake Wales, Florida, with a juice packaging plant in Umatilla, Florida.  The Lake Wales facility employs 850 employees and can extract over nine million pounds of fruit every twenty-four hours in peak season.  Brands produced in Lake Wales include Florida’s Natural ®, Florida’s Natural Growers Pride ®, Donald Duck ®, Bluebird ®, and Florida’s Natural Earth’s Own™.