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Bravante and others step up for Chilean quake victims

by Rand Green | March 21, 2010
REEDLEY, CA -- Bravante Produce, here, which packs citrus under the "Sunkist" label, has donated 16 tons of fresh Navel oranges to aid relief efforts for victims of the Feb. 27 earthquake in the Concepcion region of Chile.

Richard Sullivan, warehouse manager at Bravante Produce, wanted to do something to help the victims of the Chilean earthquake and set about making arrangements for a donation of 16 tons of fresh California Navels to be delivered by sea container to the quake zone.

George Bravante, citrus grower and the owner of Bravante Produce, donated the oranges and packing. Mid-Valley Packaging & Supply Co. in Fowler, CA, donated the packing materials. Yamko Truck Lines in Long Beach, CA, donated a truck and driver to haul the loaded container from the Bravante facility to the port of Long Beach. NYK Cool donated the ocean freight from Long Beach to Valparaiso, Chile, and also provided the use of the 40-foot sea container. Inchcape Shipping Services in Long Beach set up the logistics and donated the booking and coordination services, said Mr. Sullivan.

The oranges were packed in palletized bins and loaded into the sea container Thursday, March 11. Included with each bin of fruit were empty poly mesh bags that relief workers in Chile could use in distributing the fruit to those in need.

"Every employee [at Bravante] takes great pride knowing that we can assist those [who] are enduring the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Chile," Mr. Sullivan said.

The loaded container was transported to Long Beach, where it was scheduled to depart March 15 by ocean vessel and arrive March 26 at the port of Valparaiso. Upon its arrival in Chile, the oranges were to be transferred from Valparaiso to the quake-damaged coastal city of Concepcion by the Chilean navy.