(Aug. 26, 3:48 p.m.) Oviedo, Fla.-based Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc. plans to ship about 500,000 cartons of lemons from its new facility in Guemez, Mexico, this season.

The facility, which opened in July, features high-tech de-greening systems and cold rooms, a packing line capable of filling up to 1,700 cartons per hour and storage for up to 42,000 cartons in its 33,000 square feet.

Because it is a four-hour drive to Duda’s McAllen, Texas, facility, customers can get faster delivery, Alberto Cuellar, global business development director, said in a news release.

“A major advantage for our customers is to have fresher lemons during the summer,” he said. “With the technology that we have in place, we will be able to guarantee freshness like never before during the summer.”

The new facility is a partnership between Duda Farm Fresh Foods and Mexico Citrus Farms Inc. It is managed and staffed by Mexico Citrus Farms personnel but handles Duda Farm Fresh Foods products exclusively.

The Mexican lemon season, which runs July through March, is picking up, Cuellar said.

“We are seeing some drought conditions this year, but we expect light rains soon that will be beneficial for the groves and the size of the fruit,” he said. “This Mexican growing region is characterized for sizing fruit fast, but due to the rainfall shortage we are looking at a small delay in the sizing process.”

Duda vows faster, fresher summer lemon shipments
With its new fresh lemon facility in Mexico, Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc. will be able to guarantee customers "freshness like never before during the summer," says Alberto Cuellar, global business development director for the company.