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Bravante Produce, 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, CA.

"We are excited about our affiliation with Sunkist," George Bravante, managing partner of the Reedley, CA-based operation, said in a Sept. 23 press release. "Sunkist has an excellent marketing and transportation network and a brand name that is known worldwide for its premium products. We're looking forward to enjoying the benefits of Sunkist membership, which we believe will enable us to improve volume and profitability."

"We're extremely pleased to welcome Bravante into our organization," Russ Hanlin, president and chief executive officer of Sunkist, added in the press release. "They are an experienced, respected grower and packer, and bring to our system nearly 1.4 million cartons of quality citrus and a philosophy of excellence that matches our own."

Bravante is projected to add 1 million field cartons of Navels, 200,000 field cartons of Valencias, 150,000 field cartons of lemons and 20,000 field cartons of Minneolas to Sunkist's portfolio for the 2009-10 season.

Bravante Produce is a premier grower, packer and shipper of fresh citrus, with a modern, three-year-old packing facility in Reedley, CA, and groves throughout the San Joaquin Valley. With a product list that includes Navel and Valencia oranges, lemons and Minneolas, Bravante is bringing 2,000-plus acres of citrus into the Sunkist system.