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Dundee Citrus introduces Florida Classic Growers

by | September 28, 2010
DUNDEE, FL -- Dundee Citrus Growers Association announced that effective Oct. 1, its sales and marketing division will be rebranded Florida Classic Growers Inc. to align with the cooperative's well-known "Heritage Citrus" label.

Formerly known as Diversified Citrus Marketing, the subsidiary of Dundee was founded in 2001 to sell and market its fruit directly to customers. Florida Classic Growers represents one of the older and more established grower cooperatives in the state, which has more than 13,000 acres of Florida oranges, tangerines and grapefruit. In nine years, it has become a premier supplier to major retailers, wholesalers and foodservice institutions worldwide. The group packs and ships approximately 3.5 million cartons of citrus under the “Florida Classic” label worldwide.

"With the evolution of Florida Classic, we look forward to extending our record of providing superior products and service as we continue to evolve to best meet the needs of our customers and consumers," Lindsay Raley, president and board chairman of Dundee, said in a Sept. 27 press release. Another significant step in the evolution of Florida Classic Growers will come next year, according to Mr. Raley, when the organization adds Florida peaches to its portfolio.

"Dundee and Florida Classic Growers are enthusiastically looking forward to introducing flavorful, locally grown peaches into the marketplace," Mr. Raley said in the release.

Bobby Bawcum, president of Florida Classic Growers, also is eager to begin offering an expanded portfolio of products and operations. He welcomes the name change and believes it will enable customers to more readily identify with the “Florida Classic” label.

"Our one-stop availability of all commercial Florida citrus varieties, commitment to quality and passion for customer service made Diversified Citrus the premier source for fresh Florida citrus," Mr. Bawcum said in the release. "As Florida Classic Growers, we will continue to provide the same great products and service under a brand name that has achieved tremendous equity and trust. The addition of the last word to our name is a reminder that our customers are able to buy directly from the growers themselves."

Founded in 1924, Dundee Citrus Growers Association is based in Dundee and is Florida's largest fresh fruit packinghouse and shipper, according to the release. As a member of Florida's Natural Growers, Dundee also harvests citrus to be squeezed into juice. The state-of-the-art cooperative noted that it is in the forefront of equipment technology, food safety and traceability.