The Coca-Cola Company And Cutrale Citrus Juices Donate $3 Million To Help Fight Citrus Disease
Companies Provide Funding to Assist in the Development of an Environmentally Sustainable Response to Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB)
LAKE ALFRED, Fla. -- The Coca-Cola Company and Cutrale Citrus Juices of Brazil announced today at Florida Citrus Mutual’s monthly board meeting here a donation of $3 million to the University of Florida Foundation in support of long-term research projects, specifically those aimed at preventing a widespread disease that affects citrus crops.
The $1.5 million contribution by each company will be used to fund sustainable research programs managed by The Citrus Research and Development Foundation Inc. (CRDF), a direct support organization of the University of Florida aimed at eliminating the threat of Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), a disease commonly known as “greening.” HLB is one of the most destructive diseases of citrus crops, debilitating the productive capacity of citrus trees.
“Research to find a sustainable and environmentally conscious way to fight this disease is the best way we can support the entire value chain for the citrus industry,” said Guy Wollaert, General Manager, Global Juice Center, The Coca-Cola Company. “Coca-Cola is committed to working with our partners in the citrus industry to help eradicate HLB. Solutions will benefit citrus growers worldwide and ensure that consumers continue to have access to the high quality citrus fruit and juice.”
The Citrus Research and Development Foundation has collaborated with the National Academy of Sciences since 2009 to advance disease research and innovation to ensure the survival and competitiveness of Florida’s citrus growers.
“Among the many diseases that have invaded or could invade Florida, Brazil and other citrus regions globally, greening represents the greatest threat to the industry,” said Tom Jerkins, President of The Citrus Research and Development Foundation Inc. “The generous financial contribution made by Coca-Cola and Cutrale allows the CRDF to continue our pursuit to fight and eliminate HLB.”
“The worldwide citrus industry today faces one of its greatest challenges to control and prevent the rapid spread of citrus greening (HLB),” added Hugh Thompson, President of Cutrale Citrus Juices, USA.
"Our donation reflects Cutrale’s continued support of the orange growers around the world and of sustainable research programs that will deliver long-term solutions for the control and prevention of HLB. Long-term solutions for HLB must make the grower more efficient, improve yields and give the grower confidence that they can profitably reinvest in the growing of oranges.
“Cutrale has confidence that the Citrus Research and Development Foundation’s long-term strategy to attack this disease will result in long-term solutions. Cutrale is a significant donor to Fundecitrus in support of worldwide HLB research.”
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero®, vitaminwater®, Powerade®, Minute Maid®, Simply® and Georgia®. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
About Cutrale Citrus Juices
Cutrale is one of the world’s largest processors and growers of oranges. Cutrale services customers in over eighty (80) countries from its processing facilities in Brazil, Florida and southern Europe.
About The Citrus Research and Development Foundation Inc. (CRDF)
The Citrus Research and Development Foundation Inc. (CRDF) is a Florida non-profit corporation organized in May 2009 under Florida State laws as a Direct Service Organization of the University of Florida. The mission of the CRDF is to advance disease and production research and product development activities to ensure the survival and competitiveness of Florida’s citrus growers through innovation. The organization is headed by a 13 member board of directors that includes individuals from industry, academia and government.
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