WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Crystals Corporation celebrates its 50th anniversary in Florida with the start of its 2010-2011 sugar cane harvest season today at its two sugar mills in Palm Beach County.
The Osceola sugar mill, in Pahokee, and the Okeelanta sugar mill, in South Bay, began grinding early Tuesday morning.
The Fanjul family's roots in sugar date back more than 150 years. The family founded their company in Florida in 1960 as Osceola Farms Co. and New Hope Sugar Company. At that time, the family purchased 4,000 acres of land in Palm Beach County and several sugar mills in Louisiana. The mills were dismantled, transported by barge to Florida and erected in Pahokee as the Osceola sugar mill.
"We are honored to be celebrating 50 years in Florida," said Alfonso Fanjul, Florida Crystals' Chairman and CEO. "It was my grandfather's vision when he came to America to rebuild our sugar business in Florida. We are all extremely grateful to celebrate the opportunities this country has offered us to build a strong business and make it our home."
While it began as a small farming company, Florida Crystals has grown to presently have 187,000 gross acres in Florida, the majority of which is in sugar cane, while the balance is in rotation crops like rice and corn as part of the company's best management practices. Florida Crystals employs nearly 2,000 people in Palm Beach County alone.
"Agriculture is an integral part of Florida and Palm Beach County," said J. Pepe Fanjul, Florida Crystals' Vice Chairman, COO and President. "This is the leading county east of the Mississippi – and in the top 10 in the nation – in terms of revenue from agriculture. We look forward to a thriving, sustainable agricultural industry, creating quality jobs and economic opportunities in Florida for generations to come."
Florida Crystals, a Fanjul Corp. company, has grown exponentially throughout five decades and is now a vertically integrated producer of raw sugar, refined sugar, specialty sweetener products, rice and renewable energy. Florida Crystals, its subsidiaries and affiliates own four raw sugar mills and 10 sugar refineries in six countries worldwide and are the world's largest producer of refined cane sugar with an annual output of six million tons of sugar, sold under the brands Domino®, C&H®, Florida Crystals®, Redpath® and Tate & Lyle®. Florida Crystals is also the only producer of certified organic sugar 100 percent made in the USA – grown, harvested and milled in Florida.
SOURCE Florida Crystals Corporation