Coca-Cola donates another $1.5 million to citrus greening studies

08/14/2014 09:40:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

Coca-ColaAtlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. has donated an additional $1.5 million to a University of Florida foundation to support long-term research into preventing citrus greening.

This comes on top of $1.5 million that the beverage maker contributed three years ago to the Citrus Research and Development Foundation Inc. to support research into the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect that spreads the citrus greening bacterium, according to a news release.

The latest donation will be distributed in $500,000 increments during the next three years.

“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,” Iain McLaughlin, Coca-Cola senior vice president of global stills and juice center, said in the release.

Among the beverage company's brands are Minute Maid and Simply.

Although citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing or HLB, is deadly to citrus trees, it is harmless to humans and other animals. Since it has become endemic in Florida, it has cost the state's citrus industry more than $4.6 billion in losses, according to University of Florida figures.

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