IMG Citrus Inc., one of Florida’s largest citrus grower-packers, is expanding its volume by adding a longtime Indian River grapefruit grower-shipper.

IMG expands Indian River grapefruit packingThis fall, Vero Beach, Fla.-based Hogan & Sons Inc. plans to market its fruit through Vero Beach-based IMG.

Hogan shipped 570,000 cartons of grapefruit this past season, according to the Florida Citrus Administrative Committee, Lakeland.

DNE World Fruit Sales, Fort Pierce, Fla., previously marketed Hogan’s fruit.

Matt Kastensmidt, IMG’s domestic sales manager, noted Hogan’s history.

“They are an excellent packer with an excellent reputation,” Kastensmidt said. “We know they will help us out greatly.

I think this shows we are committed to the industry for the longterm and trying to add volume to service (more) retailers and wholesalers.”

Last season, IMG packed 1.9 million cartons of grapefruit, oranges and tangerines, according to the citrus administrative committee, making it the second-largest single Florida packing operation.

Kevin Swords, DNE’s Florida citrus sales manager, said DNE marketed Hogan’s grapefruit domestically.

“They were a pleasure to work with and went over backwards to cover our needs,” Swords said. “We had a great relationship with them and will continue to have. Though we will miss the relationship, the volume was not as such to not be able to cover our yearly programs with our customers.”

In Florida, DNE, the sales arm of Fort Pierce-based Bernard Egan & Co., also markets for its Fort Pierce-based subsidiary, East Coast Packers Inc., Vero Beach-based Indian River Exchange Packers, Quality Fruit Packers of Indian River, Leroy Smith Inc., United Indian River Packers LLC, Sun Ag, Fellsmere, Fla., and the Haines City Citrus Growers Association, Haines City, Fla.

Hogan plans to pack in IMG’s Image and Absolute labels.