Claire H. Smith

Produce veteran heads Sunkist Global LLC

November 06, 2006

November 6, 2006, Sherman Oaks, California…..Mark Tompkins, produce industry veteran and former head of Sunkist's domestic sales network, is returning to take the helm of Sunkist's global sourcing organization, Sunkist Global LLC. He replaces Rick Eastes who is leaving that position, which he has held for three years, to pursue other interests.

As part of Sunkist's ongoing customer-focused marketing strategy, Sunkist Global LLC sources high quality citrus products from around the world to complement California and Arizona-grown citrus in providing a year-round supply of citrus products to its international customer network.

"Our customers ask us to supply a wider range of high quality citrus products, without seasonality limits, including varieties such as limes, which are not traditionally grown by our grower-members," said Sunkist Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing Russ Hanlin. "Sunkist Global increases our global footprint, allowing us to meet those customer demands for consistent supplies, marketing and logistical services with a wider range of high quality citrus products."

As General Manger Sunkist Global Sourcing, Tompkins is responsible for securing production and folding it seamlessly into the Sunkist international sales and delivery network. Currently Sunkist is sourcing complementary citrus fruit from South Africa, Australia, and Mexico and delivering it to customers in North America and Asia.

"Mark is a unique resource," said Hanlin. "He understands the citrus industry from both the production and marketing perspectives. And he has a stellar reputation with the trade, having many long-term relationships built on mutual trust and respect."

Tompkins has spent more than 30 years with Sunkist, serving in many capacities including director of sales operations and head of domestic marketing. He began his Sunkist career as a sales clerk and inspector in Canada, rising quickly through the ranks to sales merchandiser, assistant manger and then District Sales Manager of Sunkist's Vancouver, British Columbia office. He is a winner of the prestigious President's Award for Marketing Excellence.

Tompkins emigrated to the U.S. as Director, Sales Operations where he directed Sunkist's supply management, projection and pricing functions, working closely with the sales force, packinghouses and customers. He was promoted to Director, Domestic Marketing, where he was responsible for Sunkist's entire domestic sales network (U.S. and Canada). In that capacity, he planned sales and marketing efforts with key retailers, wholesales and food, service customers in the US and Canada, coordinating them with the production end of the business.

In addition to his knowledge of Sunkist's operations and sales, Tompkins brings extensive experience gained from his stint as General Manager and Director of Marketing/Sales with Sage Fruit LLC where he integrated three apple packers under one label and created the marketing and sales operations for new company.

After three years with Sage, Tompkins returned to the citrus business as Vice President Sales and Marketing for DNE California, Inc. In addition to U.S.-grown fruit, DNE World Fruit Sales markets imported citrus from Australia, Spain, Morocco, South Africa, Chile, Argentina and the Bahamas. While with DNE, Tompkins directed the California marketing and sales program and played a key role working with the entire sales team coordinating major account programs.

"I enjoyed my work in the apple industry," Tompkins said, but after all my years in the citrus industry, I missed it. It's what I know best. And I'm very pleased to be rejoining the Sunkist sales team. Sunkist's expanding global footprint and its abilities to meet customers' needs continue to add even more value to the famous Sunkist brand. I'm proud to have a part in that once again."

When not traveling, Tompkins will be located in Sunkist's Sherman Oaks headquarters.