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Westlake Produce Co.'s Winter Haven, FL, division and Voita Citrus of Florida Inc., based in Tampa, FL, announced in a joint statement that they have consolidated their sales offices and will now operate as Westlake Produce Co. The consolidated entity will operate from Westlake's Winter Haven office.

Jack Cain is sole owner and president of Voita Citrus of Florida Inc. and is not affiliated with California Citrus Selectors Inc. (d.b.a. Voita West, located in Exeter, CA, San Luis Obispo, CA, Boston and Philadelphia), according to an Aug. 1 press release issued jointly by the two companies.

"Customers and associates of Westlake will benefit from this consolidation and what Jack's 25 years of produce experience can bring to Westlake's current offerings," Wayne Giddings, a partner of Westlake Produce, said in the press release. "In this competitive retail environment, retailers are looking for more from their suppliers [such as] stronger partnerships to help manage risk and improve profit margins, innovative approaches to increase sales, and the ability to offer higher quality and more value-added products. Westlake is responding to the needs of our business partners by joining forces with companies like Voita Citrus and people with the experience of Jack Cain and his sales associate, Matt Clark."

Mr. Cain, who will serve as Westlake's vice president of sales and marketing for its Eastern division, added in the press release, "The salesmen at Westlake are seasoned professionals and already have proven skills and experience and work very well as a team. I am looking forward to being a part of that team."

Jeff Miller, also a partner of Westlake Produce, added, "Our overall presence in this industry will continue to expand through strategic business partnerships and consolidations like this one. Jack's integrity, experience and produce knowledge will facilitate our continued growth and expansion of our 'Always Fresh' label into other commodities from Florida, Texas and California as well as imports."

Westlake's Florida division has continued to expand its commodity offerings significantly in recent years and now markets over 500 acres of Florida strawberries, nearly 700,000 cartons of Florida citrus, 700 acres of watermelons, and over 10 millions pounds of blueberries, all packed in its "Always Fresh" label.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Westlake Produce ships and markets produce from all major growing areas in the country. It also imports product from around the world.