WEST PALM BEACH — Florida Crystals completed its 2019-20 sugarcane crop season, thanks to the dedication and tremendous perseverance of its employees to implement strict health and safety standards to combat COVID-19 while working hard to keep grocery store shelves stocked and food makers supplied during this time of crisis.
The company finalized its crop season at its two sugar mills, Okeelanta and Osceola, and as a member of Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, also supplied sugarcane to the Glades Sugar House mill. In total, the company produced more than 729,250 short tons raw value (STRV) sugar and more than 39.5 million gallons of molasses.
Florida Crystals’ 59th season also marked its largest organic crop. With families cooking and baking at home now more than ever during this unprecedented time, the company is continuing to work hard to meet the demand for its organic and raw cane sugar products.
“We have a wonderful team of employees, and we can’t express enough our sincerest appreciation for the special effort everyone made during a season that brought challenges no one could ever have imagined,” said Gaston Cantens, vice president of Florida Crystals. “Farmers across Florida are harvesting a variety of crops, and we want to wish everyone the very best for a safe and successful completion of their seasons.”
Florida Crystals’ agricultural team is now focused on finishing rice cultivation and will soon begin harvesting a fresh rice crop. Florida Crystals’ rice mill in Palm Beach County, the only rice mill in Florida, has been bustling to restock store shelves and package rice for donations to feed vulnerable families, children and seniors during the crisis. In partnership with organizations, including Feeding South Florida, Fresh RX Kids, the Boys and Girls Club, the Palm Beach County Food Bank and along with leaders in the Glades communities, the company has donated more than 50,000 pounds of rice to date to those who need it most.
“Our local farms have helped feed our communities for generations, and we are committed to continuing to work with local nonprofits, community leaders and our farming community to ensure that children and families have the resources they need to make it through this crisis,” said Pepe Fanjul Jr., executive vice president of Florida Crystals. “By continuing to support and take care of each other, we will get through this extraordinary time together, and we will be stronger for it.”