Feeding Florida | Florida's Food Bank Network

Feeding Florida News

Back to All News

Partners in Produce: Noble Citrus is Feeding Florida

Partners in Produce: Noble Citrus is Feeding Florida

Feeding Florida’s relationships with our state’s farmer partners is critical to both rescuing Florida produce and providing more families with healthy, nutritious food. 

Thanks to support from the Florida legislature, our product recovery initiative- Farmers Feeding Florida- works with local farmers throughout the state to rescue and distribute excess or unmarketable products to the families that need it most. Our program is unique in that we help defray some of the pick and pack out costs a farmer incurs in providing us product. 

But that’s only the beginning. Because of our longstanding relationship with Florida’s growers and the success of the program each year, we’ve become an integral part of their supply chain and a valuable partner in their own mission to feed people. 

Adam Roe of Noble Citrus has seen firsthand how this partnership has evolved over time. His family’s farm launched in 1926 as WG Roe & Sons, beginning with tangerine groves in Central Florida. A part of the fourth generation of Roe farmers, Adam has seen the expansion and innovation that led Noble Citrus to become a top grower and packer of craft-cultivated tangerines. 

Noble Citrus and Feeding Florida have worked together for years, providing excess tangerines, a vitamin-rich, nutritious fruit, to the food insecure families our food banks serve. Our partnership has grown into the ability to plan product loads, becoming part of the production that ensures this healthy food will reach the tables of those who need it most.

We chatted with Adam about this long-standing relationship, asked him to help us explain the Famers Feeding Florida program from a grower’s perspective, and detailed why supplying product to the charitable network means so much to Noble Citrus and the Roe family. 

Q: How does partnering with Feeding Florida help your farm, and other farmers?
A: I believe community partnership is hugely important and Feeding Florida is the conduit for that. Farmers will have struggles throughout the season, when product does not come out quite right or in a timely manner. To have an outlet to offer quality fruit, that also has a direct positive impact on local communities, is what farmers always want. Farmers want to help their communities, but often need assistance in how to execute that.  

We originally partnered with Feeding Florida in order to find a solution to our off-grade excess product. We were spending money to dump good product, good enough to eat, that our retailers did not want or could not take. Our partnership has only grown since then, as we continue to see the impact of being able to get citrus to those in need and not see it go to waste. 

Q: How does Feeding Florida’s pick and pack out model, to offset some production costs, help you as farmers?
A: This model allows us to pack the fruit up for families in need and deliver it to the Feeding Florida food banks, while being compensated for these activities to recoup the cost. For us, doing this and keeping our produce within the state of Florida and in our communities is the best use for our fruit. 

Q: Aside from the rescuing of produce, Noble Citrus participates in planned loads with Farmers Feeding Florida. Can you explain how this works for you all?
A: Planning loads with Feeding Florida allows us to continue pushing through our peak of each season’s harvest window with no slowdowns. For us, it has helped tremendously in continuity of supply. Planned loads allow up to provide steadiness for our workforce, including our H2A harvest partners. Also, by having a planned load schedule with an understanding partner, we see far less fruit loss during the peak of our season.
  
Q: What would you say are the top reasons other growers should partner with Feeding Florida as well?
A:
Other growers should partner because it’s a wonderful group to interact and work with. You are able to provide and give back to your local community while also working to minimize food waste and provide continuity in your packing and growing operations. 
 

Most Recent News:

How Nutrition Education is Tackling Food Waste

Did you know that learning about food can help you eat healthier and save money, and also reduce waste? Feeding Florida's nine network food banks are making this possible through their SNAP-Education Program, the Florida Nutrition Education Program. Read on for some of the valuable food waste prevention methods our SNAP-Ed classes are teaching in communities across the state.

Read Full News Post

Robin Safley: Understanding the impact of Feeding Florida Network

There are many things we can negotiate in life when we don’t have enough financial resources.  Food is not one of those things. Every person needs access to nutritious food, and they need it every day. This is true especially during vulnerable times.

Read Full News Post

Florida Politics- 3 Questions with Adam Roe

Florida Politics recently spoke with Noble Citrus Director of Procurement Adam Roe about the company’s partnership with Feeding Florida, a statewide food bank network.

Read Full News Post