Coke plans major expansion of Fla. orange groves

AUBURNDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Coca-Cola Co. says it will invest $2 billion to support the planting of 25,000 acres of new orange groves in Florida.

The announcement will be made at a news conference late Tuesday morning at Coca-Cola’s production plant in Auburndale. Details were released in advance to The Associated Press.

The company owns the Minute Maid and Simply Juice brands.

The president of Coca-Cola Americas says 5 million orange trees will be planted. Steve Cahillane says the new groves are believed to be the largest addition in the state in at least 15 years. They will be located in Polk, DeSoto and Hendry counties, in central Florida.

Company officials say the new groves and resulting juice production for Coca-Cola will add about 4,100 jobs to Florida’s economy.

Source: Associated Press