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Growing Groves: Coca-Cola Funds 25,000 Acres of New Orange Trees in Florida

By: Amy Cross May 8, 2013
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Credit: Scott Iskowitz/Invision for Coca-Cola/AP Images Debra Shankle, VP, Coca-Cola Refreshments East Region Manufacturing; Richard Hamann, mayor of Auburndale; Adam Putnam, commissioner, Florida Department of Agriculture; Steve Cahillane, president,Coca-Cola Americas; Bill Becker, president, Peace River Citrus Products; and Jose Luis Cutrale, chairman, Cutrale Citrus Juices, plant a tree after announcing the planting of 25,000 acres of new orange groves.

The Florida citrus industry is getting a significant boost thanks to a new partnership withCoca-Cola, which announced a $2 billion investment to support the planting of 25,000 acres of new orange groves in partnership with Cutrale Citrus Juices and Peace River Citrus Products.

The largest citrus planting initiative in Florida in 25 years is expected to bring more than 4,100 direct and indirect jobs to the state.

The Coca-Cola Company is proud to be part of this investment in Florida and its citrus industry, Steve Cahillane, president of Coca-Cola Americas, said on May 7 during a press event in Auburndale, Fla. A thriving Florida citrus industry is critical to helping us build our Simply and Minute Maid juice brands. Through viable partnerships and meaningful investment with Cutrale and Peace River, we together will foster sustainable, responsible growth in Florida.

Coca-Cola has played an active role in the Florida citrus industry since purchasing Minute Maid in 1960, and today operates 26 facilities across the state, employing 6,100 people. In partnership with Cutrale, Coke purchases nearly one-third of Floridas orange harvest, supporting more than 400 local growers.

Over the last five years, Coca-Cola has invested more than $400 million in its manufacturing plants throughout the state. Most recently, its Main Street juice facility in Auburndale underwent a significant expansion, adding a new production line and increasing warehouse space. The project created 129 new jobs.

In 2010, Coca-Cola and Cutrale Citrus Juices each pledged $1.5 million to the University of Floridas Citrus Research and Development Foundation for critical research around Huanglongbing disease, commonly known as citrus greening, which causes hard, bitter fruit and ultimately kills the infected tree.

More Articles on Sustainable Agriculture

Farming for the Future: Grower-Led Partnership Takes Progressive Steps to Preserve the Great Barrier Reef

How Small Scale Farmers Impact Daily Lives of Consumers

The Coca-Cola Company Commits $2 Billion to Support Planting of 25,000 Acres of New Orange Groves in Florida

Fonte: www.coca-colacompany.com

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