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Agriculture Press Release

May 24, 2002

Bronson announces state partnership with produce distributor that will benefit Sanford-area economy

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today announced an agreement between his department and a produce grower/distributor that will transform the Sanford State Farmers’ Market into a state-of-the-art distribution facility.

Under the agreement, Sanwa Growers, Inc., a diversified grower and wholesale distributor of oriental vegetables, herbs and specialty fruits and vegetables, will locate a distribution facility at the Sanford State Farmers’ Market and help fund an extensive expansion and renovation project there. Sanwa and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will work together to add coolers, fixtures, processing equipment and storage facilities to the market, which is the oldest state-owned farmers’ market in the United States.

When completed, Sanwa will occupy nearly 11,000 square feet of warehouse and cooler space, and an additional 2,200 square feet of office space. Sanwa’s distribution operations are scheduled to begin in December, and within two years are expected to generate 50 jobs in the Sanford area. Sanwa is headquartered in Wimauma and has operations Tampa, Miami and Atlanta.

"I am happy to welcome Sanwa to the Sanford State Farmers’ Market," Bronson said. "This venture benefits our state’s agriculture industry and the citizens and economy of the Sanford area."

Tony Leung, president of Sanwa Growers, Inc., said his company’s partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will benefit both parties.

"Adding a Sanford distribution center is a positive step for Sanwa and complements our business plan," Leung said. "This move will greatly enhance our existing distribution network and allow for future expansion and increased shipping volume."

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services operates a system of 15 State Farmers’ Markets which provide facilities for assembling and marketing Florida produce. More than 25 million units of fresh fruits and vegetables valued at more than $225 million are annually sold through the markets.

Through volume production and marketing, effective competition is assured for both small and large growers and buyers. The markets are maintained by the Department through income derived from a combination of package fees, packing house, cooler and office rentals, and truck scale fees. The first market opened in 1935.

For information on State Farmers’ Markets in Florida, including locations, maps, and days and hours of operation, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services web site at and click on "Ag Industry: State Farmers’ Markets." Information can also be obtained by calling 1-800-357-4273, or writing:

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Bureau of State Farmers’ Markets
Mayo Building, Suite 209
407 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0800


Note to editors: Two high-resolution color artist renderings to accompany this news story can be downloaded from the Internet at The zipped files are labeled as follows:

05-24-02a The redevelopment project would feature an open-air farmers’ market for residents to enjoy

05-24-02b The proposed redevelopment project located between LakeAvenue, 13th Street, and French Avenue


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