Contact:
Claire H. Smith

Sunkist Welcomes
New Packing Affiliate


May 24, 2005

May 24, 2005, Sherman Oaks, Calif…..Euclid Packing Co-op LP will begin year-round citrus packing operations in its new location north of Porterville this week, adding more than 1.4 million cartons of fruit to the volume marketed by Sunkist Growers, headquartered in Sherman Oaks, California.

“We’re pleased to welcome this new affiliate into our system,” said Sunkist President and CEO Jeff Gargiulo. “It symbolizes confidence in the expanding opportunities offered growers and packers by Sunkist. In addition, it brings a supply of the kind of high quality fruit that is in great demand from our customers.”

While the facility is under new ownership and management, the Euclid house has been part of the Central San Joaquin Valley citrus scene for many years, most recently as independent shipper TRI Citrus. Its labels, “Euclid Gold” and “Perfect Choice,” are very well known and well respected, Gargiulo added.

Sam Perricone of Los Angeles is the Euclid owner. He, too, has a long history in the citrus industry as a broker and grove owner with several partnerships under Sunkist membership.

Manager of the new Sunkist affiliate, which will pack early, mid and late navels, Valencias and Minneolas, is Ron Smith, a native of Lindsay. Beyond working as a kid under the tutelage of his father, Eldon Smith at Sierra Citrus, Ron has had a 27-year career packing and shipping citrus. He was manager of the San Joaquin Citrus packinghouse for 12 years and, most recently, he supervised field operations for the Exeter-Ivanhoe Citrus Association.

Said Smith, who also worked for the TRI organization, “It’s nice to come full circle and back to my Tulare County roots. I am familiar with this facility and the equipment upgrades made over the years. And, I’m pleased to be able to put all my past experience to work once more as a Sunkist manager. As the citrus industry leader, Sunkist drives the highest standards in food safety and product quality which reflect the mission of our new house."

The Euclid fruit is produced on Central California acreage in locations from Madera in the north and the Edison and Maricopa regions in the south. The packinghouse will be a member of the Riverside-Arlington Heights Fruit Exchange.

Susana Fajardo will be the sales coordinator for Euclid, a role she previously filled for Smith at San Joaquin Citrus.

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