Contact:
Claire H. Smith

Sunkist Announces Strategic Alliance with South Africa's Freshworld


May 14, 2004

May 14, 2004, Sherman Oaks, Calif....Sunkist Growers' recently formed global sourcing arm, Sunkist Global LLC, will partner with Freshworld of Stellenbosch, South Africa to export citrus from South Africa to various world markets, said Jeff Gargiulo, Sunkist President and CEO.

As part of its strategy to meet world buyer demand for year around quality citrus under the Sunkist brand, Sunkist is now sourcing high quality fresh citrus from growers other than its California and Arizona membership. Rather than creating and staffing its own office in South Africa, Sunkist Global LLC is working in partnership with Freshworld to provide logistical and marketing services to South African citrus growers and packers.

Initially, Sunkist will sell to its network of buyers throughout Asia, including Japan and Hong Kong and other important markets. "Supplying fresh citrus 52 weeks a year requires working in virtually every commercial time zone on the planet," said the Director of Sunkist Global LLC Rick Eastes. "Having partners in South Africa to help coordinate our Sunkist brand shipments vastly improves our ability to communicate not only with our U.S. based offices, but those in Asia as well."

Through Freshworld, Sunkist is aligning with top growers in the important citrus producing areas from South Africa's Northern Province and Mpumalanga to KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape regions to the Western Cape, thus covering the continent's entire citrus growing season.

Sunkist is undertaking a truly global approach in representing its Sunkist brand in the world marketplace. "To meet the needs of international buyers and suppliers," said Eastes, "we feel that partnering relationships may often be the best way to get the right product from supplier to buyer in the world marketplace."

While the new South African venture will be primarily handling grapefruit, it will handle oranges and some lemons as well.

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