Clermont, FL (July 8, 2008) Matt McLean, Founder and CEO of Uncle Matt’s Fresh, the organic produce “arm” of Uncle Matt’s Organic, announced today that the number of organic citrus growers and the amount of acreage dedicated to organic citrus that their company manages, is rising at a steady and healthy pace. According to Matt, “We currently manage over 1,000 acres of citrus groves that include 15 different family-owned farms. This number is expanding everyday as we help conventional groves transition to organic.”
As a vertically integrated grower, manager and marketer of organic citrus, Uncle Matt’s Fresh provides management of these small family growers by putting together an organic farm plan, executing the plan to increase nutrient density, develop bio diversity, build healthy soils, plus selling the fruit for the benefit of the families who own the groves. Adds Matt, “Our growers have anywhere from as small as 3 acres to as large as 100 acre groves. Just this spring, we had an additional 100 acres of Valencia oranges transition to organic.” The process of going from conventional to organic takes 3 years to complete.
“We are currently growing organic oranges, tangerines and grapefruit for our own juice brand, Uncle Matt’s Organic, along with providing organic fresh citrus for Uncle Matt’s Fresh,” says Matt. Of the 1,000 acres that Uncle Matt’s Fresh manages, a majority goes to juice production and the remainder goes to fresh fruit sales. It is estimated that less than 1% of all citrus in Florida is organic, a number that Matt would like to see significantly grow over the next few years.
Uncle Matt’s Fresh not only includes CEO Matt McLean, a 4th generation citrus farmer and current Vice President of the Organic Trade Association, but also his brother Ben, his brother-in-law, Alex, and his father Benny. “It’s a family affair all the way down the line,” offers Matt. “My mother and wife also contribute to the business. Citrus is our passion.”
Uncle Matt’s Fresh offers premium quality organic citrus produce while Uncle Matt’s Organic offers premium quality organic juices. The companies’ products have no synthetic additives or preservatives. To further assure high quality standards, the juice is certified Kosher and Pareve by Orthodox Union. Produce and finished products are produced under the strict regulation and guidelines of Quality Certification Services, the largest and most respected organic organization in Florida. Products are available in health food stores and groceries. The company is an active member of OTA and supports the Organic Farming Research Foundation. For more information, see www.unclematts.com.