(July 13) VISALIA, Calif. — Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, is attempting to revisit all of its operational areas with an eye to making the company more efficient and more profitable in the future. That effort included retaining the consulting firm The Monitor Group, Cambridge, Mass., to evaluate the company’s sales and marketing efforts.

“Retaining them is just part of the big picture,” said Tim Lindgren, Sunkist president and chief executive officer, on July 12. “My charter over the next year is to visit all of the operational areas for efficiency.”

Lindgren said the company’s most important task was sales and marketing.

Monitor is charged with evaluating and making recommendations for domestic and export sales and marketing, Lindgren said. Sunkist has 14 district sales offices in the U.S. and two Canadian offices.

Contrary to reports that implied the company’s post-January freeze revenues were less than expected, Lindgren said management’s postfreeze forecast was too conservative.

“We’re finding about 35% more (in) value out there than we originally thought,” he said.

Russ Hanlin, senior vice president for sales and marketing, said the outlook for valencias also was surprisingly good. Sunkist plans to ship valencias through October, he said. Hanlin said navel trees survived the freeze and Sunkist expects a good-sized crop.

Lindgren said Sunkist continues to recruit growers to replace the volume lost when Paramount Citrus Association Inc., Delano, left Sunkist last year. Paramount president David Krause said his company supplied about 12 million cartons of citrus a year to Sunkist.

Sunkist retains consultant to help streamline
Tim Lindgren (left), president and chief executive officer of Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Russ Hanlin, senior vice president for sales and marketing, tour a navel orange grove July 12 near Exeter, Calif., before meeting with San Joaquin Valley growers.