We visit Citresa and the orange groves where drinks such as TriNa are born

The other day we went to Valencia to visit the concentrate plant, Citresa, which supplies the company Suntory Beverage & Food Spain (SBFS). This is part of the Japanese Suntory group, which in Spain is best known for the brands it sells: Schweppes, La Casera, TriNa and Sunny Delight.

The company is currently immersed in the 2022/2023 citrus campaign, with which will collect more than 25,000 tons of fruit. Thus, we are witnessing the kick-off of the season for the production of concentrates, juices, pulps, aromas and essential oils at the Citresa factory, located in Carcaixent (Valencia), which, later will be exported to more than 40 countries for bottling and subsequent marketing.

The citrus campaign begins at the end of November and ends in March. During that period, they are processed between 24,000 and 30,000 tons of fruit, from which 9,000 tons of orange juice and some 3,000 of lemon juice are extracted, in addition to other natural components of the fruit such as essential oils from the rind and pulp. In total, the average volume manufactured in Carcaixent is about 20 million liters of juicefor the elaboration of various brands of the Suntory group such as the ones we have mentioned before.

For Spain we manufacture 21%, for France 47% and for the rest of the countries 32%. Spain is the second most important market for us after France”, affirms Francisco Baeza, director of Citresa.

For the elaboration of the different products, Citresa has more than 30 local suppliers, depending on the campaign, they supply the factory with oranges, lemons, grapefruit and mandarins, among other citrus fruits. In this way, the plant has local products that promote the development of local economies and contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.

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The importance of sustainability and water

Carmen Guembédirector of Sustainability, Communication and Public Affairs affirms that “Sustainability is part of our DNA and we integrate it into everything we do. We have local suppliers who, in addition to promoting the development of the local economy, help us protect the environment. In this way, we make our vision ‘Growing for Good’ a reality, driving positive environmental and social changes in all business decisions.”

Suntory Beverage & Food Spain (SBFS), aware of the importance of caring for water for environmental conservation, has developed different projects to reduce the potential impact of its activity and preserve aquatic ecosystems: on the one hand, ‘Guardians of Júcar, action which was carried out between 2018 and 2021 and with which a section of the Barxeta ravine was rehabilitated, tributary of the Júcar, close to the Citresa and ‘Guardianes del Tajo’ plant, which was launched in 2022 and with which the company wants to materialize its first Natural Water Sanctuary in Spain, rehabilitating and improving the environment of the aquatic ecosystems of the Guajaraz reservoir, one of three that provides water to its Toledo factory.

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