A new brand name for citrus grown in Georgia, North Florida and Alabama should ensure consumers they are purchasing a quality product.
Much like Georgia Grown and Fresh From Florida, Sweet Valley Citrus assures consumers and industry members that citrus grown and marketed under this label is high-quality produce. Kyli Lamar, who serves on the board of directors for the Cold Hardy Citrus Association, highlighted the new brand at the Georgia Citrus Association meeting on Feb. 28.
“We see it as something like a rising tide that could lift all boats for this new industry in our tri-state area. We developed it as something that everybody could benefit from, whether you’re a packinghouse, grower or nursery. We see it as something that could help the entire industry,” Lamar said. “We’re really excited because it doesn’t matter what variety you’re growing. It can be packed under the Sweet Valley Citrus label as long as it’s quality fruit.”
Growers who market their product under the Sweet Valley Citrus brand must be members of the Cold Hardy Citrus Association.
The branding process originated in 2020. Lamar said the Cold Hardy Citrus Association board understood that citrus was expanding in the tri-state area. It prioritized market development to match the acres of groves that were being established.
The association applied for a specialty crop grant for marketing and distribution improvements. The grant, which will end in 2023, helped the association launch the brand at the New York Produce Show this past summer. It is now being implemented for website development, social media and future produce shows.
“Right now, we’re focused on building the foundations of the brand. From there, I think we can continue getting the word out. Our growers who are a part of it can play a role in that as well,” Lamar said.
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