Claire H. Smith

Realignment of organizational structure facilitates Sunkist's expanding operations

August 17, 2006

August 17, 2006 - Sherman Oaks, Calif…A recent realignment of its operating structure positions Sunkist Growers, the international citrus marketing cooperative headquartered in Sherman Oaks, California, for more coordinated management of its core domestic and export business with its expanding counter-seasonal global sourcing and fresh-cut programs.

"The realignment provides a more integrated approach to our operations," said Timothy J. Lindgren, Interim President and CEO. "It allows us to best utilize the resources and talents in each area of our organization, to more clearly define reporting relationships, and to improve the lines of communications."

To facilitate closer integration of fresh fruit sales, licensed products and marketing, Russ Hanlin, a 28-year veteran of the Sunkist system, was named Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Hanlin will oversee the sales and marketing functions for fresh fruit and licensed products as well as Sunkist's global sourcing program and fresh-cut LLC.

Hanlin began his career in the Sunkist system in the late 1970s and has expertise in every area of sales operations, domestic and export. In 2002, in addition to serving as vice president for international sales, he was given added responsibilities for operational activities such as pricing, crop management, and sales pacing.

John McGuigan was named Vice President, Fresh Fruit Sales. McGuigan has more than 23 years experience with Sunkist serving as sales representative, district manager and regional director before becoming vice president of domestic sales in 1999. In that position, he was responsible for Sunkist's sales efforts in the U.S. and Canada. His responsibilities now include Sunkist's expanding export markets.

Mike Wootton has been named Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations and Administration. Added to his current responsibilities of corporate communications, government and grower relations are the oversight of research and technical services (fruit sciences, food safety and engineering) and Sunkist's administrative functions.

Lindgren also spoke about Paramount Citrus Association and its announced intention to leave the Sunkist system. “After being affiliated with us for 16 years, we're sorry to see Paramount go its own way,” he said. “That, however, is the way of our cooperative organization and its 6,000 grower-owners. Membership is voluntary on a year-to-year basis.

"We don't expect any effect long-term," he said. "We're still the largest cooperative citrus sales organization in the world and we'll have the volume of high quality citrus needed to meet the needs of our customers.

"While there is the possibility of a temporary reduction in volume at the beginning of the season," Lindgren added, "we don't anticipate any significant difference in the 2007 grower assessment, compared to final 2006 assessment. Recruitment of new growers and packers is replacing the Paramount volume and substantial savings are being realized through cutting redundancies and staff realignments."

Sunkist also complements its California-and Arizona-grown citrus with an increasing volume of counter-seasonal citrus from South Africa and Australia, limes from Mexico and grapefruit from Texas and a substantial volume of Sunkist-branded strawberries and blueberries. A fresh-cut produce joint venture, Sunkist Taylor LLC, is expanding its popular line of school foodservice products and will soon have offerings in retail outlets. Sunkist's licensed products display the brand throughout the world while producing substantial revenues. Sunkist's Citrus Juice and Oil operation has established itself as the most efficient high quality producer in the region.

"Throughout our 113-year history, our membership has remained remarkably steady," Lindgren added. "Even as some members leave for whatever reasons, others join. Growers who've chosen to join do so because Sunkist has consistently proven that we provide t



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