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Seald Sweet expands West Coast operations via partnership with Fresh Select

Seald Sweet International, based in Vero Beach, FL, announced a major expansion of its West Coast operations through a partnership with Fresh Select, a new state-of-the-art packing and cold storage facility located in Dinuba, CA.

The agreement substantially increases Seald Sweet West’s overall volume and production capacity of domestic and imported fresh produce. Seald Sweet West’s sales offices will also relocate to the new facility, enabling the sales and production teams to operate within the same location.

The Fresh Select facility is approximately 110,000 square feet in size, with nearly a third of that devoted to cold storage and the rest devoted to processing. Controlled-atmosphere packing rooms in the facility are equipped for specialized packing of a wide range of commodities.

The total annual potential of product capacity is estimated at 2.5 million cartons of fresh citrus fruit.

“As part of our strategic plan, the expansion of our California operations not only substantially increases our production capacity but further underscores our commitment to our customers and growers,” Mayda Sotomayor, chief executive officer of Seald Sweet, said in a Sept. 20 press release announcing the expansion. “Fresh Select is a high-caliber facility, and this partnership is a perfect fit for our quality and growth objectives.”

Scott Critchley, managing partner and owner of Fresh Select, added in the press release, “We are excited to have a partner like Seald Sweet for this joint venture and look forward to the tremendous growth opportunities this brings to both companies.”

Initial programs of the new partnership include fresh citrus from the central San Joaquin Valley, dramatically expanding Seald Sweet’s direct involvement in both packing and marketing in this region for the 2011-12 citrus season. In addition to California fresh citrus, Seald-Sweet’s new programs with the Fresh Select facility will include production of other commodities such as grapes and cherries.