Citrus firm will focus on fresh

09/14/2006 02:00:00 AM

The move leaves Quentin Roe and his other brother, Bill Roe, the company’s co-owner and vice president, running the business.

Florida’s specialty fruit volume should remain flat to slightly up this year while oranges should be flat to lower than last season, Quentin Roe said. Though Florida’s volumes won’t approach 2003-04 citrus levels, a more typical production that preceded the crop-reducing 2005 and 2006 hurricanes, Roe said he expects citrus quality to be higher than the last two seasons. Sizing, he said, is looking good.

William G. Roe & Sons expected to start packing its fallglo tangerines, which run through mid-October, in mid-September. Bridging the gap between the fallglos and the sunbursts, the robinson tangerine variety is expected to come into volume Oct. 13.

Sunbursts should start packing Oct. 25 and end by Jan. 1.

Honey tangerines, Roe’s biggest shipping variety, should start in early January and run through the end of April.

The company also grows and packs red navels, temples, valencias and orlando tangelos.

Tangerines constitute 70% to 80% of the 1.2 million four-fifth bushel cartons of fruit Roe normally ships a year. This season, however, Roe plans to ship nearly 1 million cartons.

Elder Roe

Willard E. Roe, Quentin Roe’s father, 87, is no longer active in the company and is in bad health, Quentin Roe said. Company founder William G. Roe, Quentin Roe’s grandfather, died in 1953.

Marking the fourth generation of family workers, Bill Roe’s oldest son, William G. Roe III, who goes by the nickname “Gee,” 25, manages Roe’s grove care operations and special projects.

The family has long been active in the Winter Haven community, a city known for its many lakes and canals. A city park on the east shore of Lake Shipp is called William G. Roe Park.

The company emerged from bankruptcy reorganization in 1997.

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