When consumers purchase our Minute Maid and Simply products, they do so with confidence. That’s because at The Coca-Cola Company, the world’s largest provider of juices and juice drinks, we are dedicated to delivering the great taste and refreshment our consumers have come to expect from our brands.

Sustainability: An Essential Ingredient

To ensure we can offer the highest-quality products, we are also committed to promoting the sustainability of the citrus industry itself. Working with our industry partners to ensure the survival and competitiveness of Florida’s citrus growers is essential to the continued success of our brands.

Just this week our Company gifted the University of Florida with $1.5 million in support of long-term research projects aimed at preventing a widespread disease that affects crops in Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry. This is our second $1.5 million contribution to the university in three years, bringing the total donation to $3 million.

The latest contribution, to be distributed in $500,000 increments during the next three years, will be used to fund sustainable research programs managed by the university’s Citrus Research and Development Foundation Inc. (CDRF). The CRDF is a direct support organization of the University of Florida aimed at, among other things, eliminating the threat of citrus greening.

Citrus greening is caused by the Asian citrus psyllid, a tiny insect that nibbles on citrus leaf sap and then infects the tree with the greening bacterium. The disease starves the tree of nutrients and produces fruits that are green and misshapen — unsuitable for sale as fresh fruit or juice. Most infected trees die within a few years. The disease has already affected millions of citrus trees in North America.

The research we’ve already sponsored has yielded potential interventions for disease control and our latest grant will enable researchers to move farther and faster as they work to find a cure for this devastating disease.

"Research to find a sustainable and environmentally conscious way to fight this disease is the best way we can support the entire value chain for the citrus industry,” said Iain McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Global Stills and Juice Center, The Coca-Cola Company. “Coca-Cola is committed to working with our partners in the citrus industry to help eradicate citrus greening. Solutions will benefit citrus growers worldwide and ensure that consumers continue to have access to the high quality citrus fruit and juice."