DUNDEE, Fla. — Florida’s largest fresh citrus packer is changing its name and plans to diversify into other commodities.

Lake Hamilton-based Diversified Citrus Marketing, the sales and marketing division of the Dundee Citrus Growers Association, is now Florida Classic Growers.

The change went into effect Sept. 27. 

“It more aligns ourselves with our growers,” said Al Finch, Diversified’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Our equity is in Florida Classic. That’s our brand. When customers think of Florida Classic, they think of us. It should be an easier connection of rebranding ourselves under the Florida Classic label

Dundee and the Haines City Citrus Growers Association, Haines City, created Diversified in 2001.

The Haines City Citrus Growers Association in 2005 switched its marketing to DNE World Fruit Sales, Fort Pierce.

In addition to identifying with its black citrus box, Dundee plans to begin marketing Florida-grown peaches next spring.

Dundee’s growers plan to offer the peaches April to early May, Finch said.

“Dundee and Florida Classic Growers are enthusiastically looking forward to introducing flavorful, locally grown peaches into the marketplace,” Lindsay Raley, Dundee’s president and chairman of the board, said in a news release.

Bobby Bawcum, Florida Classic Growers’ president, said the cooperative ships all commercial Florida citrus varieties, making it a one-stop place for citrus.

“As Florida Classic Growers, we will continue to provide the same great products and service under a brand name that has achieved tremendous equity and trust,” Bawcum said in the release. “The addition of the last word to our name is a reminder that our customers are able to buy directly from the growers themselves.”

According to the Florida Citrus Administrative Committee, Lakeland, Dundee is the state’s largest citrus packinghouse.

During the 2009-10 season, which ended in July, Dundee packed 3.5 million 4/5-bushel equivalent cartons of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and tangelos, of which 2.8 million cartons went to fresh buyers.

Dundee began operations in 1924.

Diversified Citrus changes name, adds peaches