February 19, 2015-
Co-op Moves Headquarters To Valencia
Sunkist Growers announced the cooperative’s fifth consecutive billion-dollar revenue year at the company’s annual meeting Feb. 18, with 2014 grower payments increasing to $1.1 billion from $873 million in 2013.
“An extended cold period in December 2013 posed challenges, but the dedication and hard work of our growers and shippers, in combination with a disciplined sales strategy, allowed us to achieve positive results,” Russell Hanlin, Sunkist president and chief executive officer, said in a press release.
Sunkist issued its second grower distribution in 2014, a program made possible by strong results from Sunkist’s for-profit businesses. “Our for-profit businesses continue to contribute positive revenue streams and also help position Sunkist for future success,” added Hanlin.
Sunkist’s licensing program continues to grow. Notably, last year the cooperative announced a licensing agreement with India’s Future Consumer Enterprise Ltd, one of the fastest growing retail and consumer packaged goods companies in India. New partnerships in India and other significant global markets such as Brazil continue to extend the prominence of Sunkist’s brand globally. With 49 licensees in total, the “Sunkist” brand is used to market approximately 700 products in 77 countries.
“We also continued to realize the benefits of our juice processing partnership, which has resulted in improved by-products earnings, more timely payments and significant contributions to our grower distributions,” said Hanlin. “In the third year of this partnership, Sunkist’s business arrangement with Ventura Coastal continues to be important in our efforts to optimize efficiencies, and we look forward to continued strong results to benefit growers.”
The seamless and efficient completion of Sunkist’s corporate office move from Sherman Oaks to Valencia, CA, in September 2014 was another significant event for the cooperative. The relocation, offering an investment opportunity, further strengthened Sunkist’s financial position while also bringing the cooperative headquarters closer to its growers.
“Sunkist, as a 120-year-old organization, has a rich history that this new space honors along with updated technology that helps us better communicate with our customers and partners,” Kevin Fiori, Sunkist’s vice president of sales and marketing, said in the release. “Sunkist is well-positioned for growth in the current marketplace and we look forward to continuing the legacy of the cooperative from our new home in Valencia.”
Mark Gillette, president of Sunkist-affiliated Gillette Citrus Inc., was re-elected as chairman of Sunkist’s board of directors during the meeting. “We are pleased to be recognizing our success last year, but more importantly, we are optimistic about the future of the cooperative as a result of the strategic initiatives that Sunkist has undertaken,” said Gillette. “Sunkist is the leading brand for California fresh citrus and we look forward to continuing to provide high-quality fruit to our partners worldwide.”
Founded in 1893, the Sunkist cooperative of family farms offers more than 40 fresh citrus varieties and remains a brand that has been trusted by customers and consumers for over a century. With thousands of grower members in California and Arizona, the Sunkist cooperative reflects the values and legacy of its over 120-year history: family-owned farms where traditional growing practices, stewardship of natural resources and a dedication to innovation are proudly passed through the generations.
Founded under the principle that more can be accomplished by working together, Sunkist continues to promote a culture of family and collaboration with growers and customers to drive beneficial results for all. Sunkist offers a full range of cartons, bags, display masters, bins and reusable plastic containers, which have been designed with customers’ needs in mind. The company provides customer-specific creative marketing and promotional support to retail and foodservice trade designed to build consumer excitement, demand and sales.
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