FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Fresh citrus growers, packers, and shippers will join for Citrus Packinghouse Day on August 25 to hear the most current information on food safety, worker Visa options, and other topics related to fresh fruit handling and transport. The free event will include exhibitors and networking opportunities.
Citrus Packinghouse Day will occur at the University of Florida/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center Ben Hill Griffin Hall in Lake Alfred, Florida. On-site registration opens at 8:30 a.m. The program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
JBT FoodTech is sponsoring coffee and donuts. Lunch is sponsored by DECCO, Inc., for the first 75 participants to register. JBT FoodTech is a global machinery corporation; DECCO Inc. supplies postharvest products to international food producers.
A highlight for Packinghouse Day 2022 will be the John T. Leslie Award of Excellence presentation. The Leslie award was first presented in 1981 to John T. Leslie for “recognition of an individual for outstanding leadership and service on behalf of the Florida fresh citrus industry.”
Coordinating the event is Professor of Horticulture Science and postharvest expert Dr. Mark Ritenour, who leads postharvest technology research at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce. Ritenour’s research and extension program include a model packinghouse Postharvest Facility operation.
“Packinghouse Day 2022 will feature presentations on phytosanitary regulations, ways to control fruit decay, worker visa options, and an update on food safety,” said Ritenour.
Ritenour will open the event, and Michael Rogers, professor and director for the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, will follow. Other keynotes will be Christopher Gunter, professor and UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department Chair, and Peter Chaires, executive vice president of Florida Citrus Packers.
Attendees are encouraged to enroll for the event by the online link; attendees may also register at the door on the day of the event. For more information, contact Ritenour at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 772-577-7359.
–Brad Buck, UF/IFAS