(Aug. 30) SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. — The growing popularity of seasonal specialty citrus is leading Sunkist Growers Inc. to boost its focus on minneolas, blood oranges and cara caras to the extent that it has created a new position to manage them.

In August, the California/Arizona citrus cooperative named Jim Meeks as its seasonal specialties product manager. Meeks, who has 30 years of experience in citrus, has spent the last several years as general manager of the Visalia Fruit Exchange, Visalia, a Sunkist co-op member.

“This is a new position,” said Claire Smith, Sunkist director of corporate communications. “We’ve had varietal managers, but there is going to be more of an emphasis on these products because specialties are becoming such a large part of the market.”

Meeks’ responsibilities include planning, pacing and pricing of the wide variety of seasonal specialties that Sunkist markets. They include minneolas, blood oranges, cara caras, fairchilds, orlandos, satsumas and clementines.

Sunkist creates post for specialty citrus crops