SOUTHERN GARDENS CITRUS PROCESSING PLANT RANKED #1
CITRUS PLANT NAMED WORLD'S MOST EFFICIENT FOR 12 OF LAST 13 YEARS
CLEWISTON, Fla. — August 20, 2008 — Southern Gardens Citrus was named the most efficient citrus processing plant in the world by FMC, a major citrus equipment manufacturer, for the 12th time in 13 years.
FMC measures the “extractor utilization” or the number of boxes of oranges processed per extractor to determine the efficiency of citrus processing facilities worldwide. During the 2007-08 citrus processing season, the plant averaged nearly 500,000 boxes of fruit per extractor. Southern Gardens processed more than 19.7 million boxes of oranges, including a plant record nearly 11 million Valencia oranges, and produced nearly 120 million gallons of orange juice.
“The citrus plant has consistently ranked as the world’s best and we are proud to be recognized for our efforts, said Robert Coker,” senior vice president, public affairs.
The citrus processing plant which opened in 1994 as the nation’s newest has also been recognized for its environmental programs. Southern Gardens Citrus and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced earlier this summer a collaborative effort at the Clewiston citrus processing facility that resulted in a 75% reduction in sulfur (SO2) emissions and a historic permit revision. The project also enabled Southern Gardens to reduce costly diesel fuel use by 25% and increase the efficiency of its citrus pulp feed mill operation, saving the company more than $3 million a year.
“We in DEP’s air division were pleased by the multiple benefits that came from working with Southern Gardens on this project,” said Joe Kahn, DEP director of air resource management. “Through this innovation, the company has lowered its costs while we all benefit from the reduction in sulfur emissions.” The group developed a series of pilot projects, modifying several different areas within the feed mill, while continuously monitoring air emissions with the required CEMS equipment.
“Orange juice is our business, and Southern Gardens strives to be an industry leader in dealing with issues affecting our business. We’ve always taken a strong, proactive approach in dealing with the issues, whether it is efficiency, environment, trade or disease,” said Ricke Kress, president, Southern Gardens Citrus.
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