Cutrale to Close Florida Juice Plant

Daniel CooperOrange Juice


The Cutrale Citrus Juices USA plant in Leesburg, Florida, will close and lay off 117 employees beginning in late July.

A notice from Cutrale posted on the Florida Department of Commerce website gave the reason for the closing as “primary business partner has decided to move packaging operations from the Leesburg facility to their own facilities.” The notice is required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification law.

Cutrale announced that it plans to lay off 101 employees on July 31 and 16 more on Oct. 31. Those to be laid off include clerks, coordinators, drivers, managers, operators and technicians.

The company reportedly bought the plant from Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid company several years ago.

Cutrale in 2020 described itself as an international agribusiness group involved in orange growing and processing, orange juice manufacturing and distribution. It reported having 21,000 employees globally with operations in Brazil, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Orange juice magnate José Luis Cutrale, the former chair of Cutrale, died in 2022 in London, England; learn more here.

Numerous other Florida citrus processing plants, fresh fruit packinghouses, groves and other citrus-related businesses have closed since the devastating citrus disease HLB was discovered in the state in 2005. Primarily as a result of the disease, citrus production in the state is less than 10% of its level 20 years ago.

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Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large

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