Suntreat's Rick Johnston Details Finding Value Amidst COVID-19 Challenges

Tue. April 21st, 2020 - by Anne Allen

DINUBA, CA - Although we as an industry are navigating through unprecedented challenges in the wake of COVID-19, I have never been prouder of the many members who make up the supply chain. One such company inspiring both myself and the produce industry at large is Suntreat. I recently had the chance to speak with Rick Johnston, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, to learn how the grower is mitigating challenges and finding unexpected value.

“The safety of our team and our customers is our highest priority,” Rick began. “Because of this, we have implemented a work-from-home policy for our entire sales team and made modifications to our operations to ensure health and safety of the team on the ground. Even with these safety measures in place, we are working hard to meet the increasing citrus demand from our customers to ensure we are providing high quality fruit packed with immunity-boosting vitamin C.”

Suntreat has also partnered with City Harvest to provide Sumo Citrus® to its community

Suntreat, Rick noted, is being extremely proactive while supplies are at peak demand. Several of its products, which are packaged underneath the Suntreat brand label, are brought to market by partnering with some of the finest growers in the biz.

“Our business is built on innovation, reliability, and consistently great products,” Rick remarked. “All of our fruit can be traced from the day it was picked in the field to arrival at its destination, guaranteeing high quality every time. And not only are we working hard to ensure we are providing high quality products during the increased customer demand, but we have also partnered with City Harvest to provide Sumo Citrus® to its community. Sumo Citrus is packed with 163 percent the daily value of immunity-boosting vitamin C—an especially important part of a healthy diet during this time.”

Even with safety measures in place, Suntreat is working hard to meet the increasing citrus demand from its customers

When I asked Rick how this donation fits into both the company’s mission and its commitment to the industry, his answer does not disappoint.

“Our mission is to help alleviate hunger and provide food for those in need especially in our local Kern County community. We accomplish this by collecting and distributing food and agricultural products that might otherwise go to waste,” Rick explained. “Through the help of our referring agencies, such as Golden Empire Gleaners Food Bank, we are able to distribute food to needy children, senior citizens, families in crisis, people who are ill, disabled, homeless, or unemployed, and others determined by the Board of Directors to be eligible. Our most recent effort during the COVID-19 pandemic has been providing Sumo Citrus donations through City Harvest, which focuses on providing healthy meals to children who are going without daily school lunches in addition to others in need within New York City—an area that has been hit especially hard.”

Proud to stand alongside companies like Suntreat as they support those who need it most! Keep reading AndNowUKnow for the latest in all things produce.