Agriculture Press Release
October 20, 1999
Crawford Sponsors Resolution Honoring Fruit Company
TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today sponsored a resolution honoring a Sarasota citrus company as the oldest continually operating family business in Florida.
The resolution, which was signed by Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet, honors the Albritton Fruit Company, a family business founded in 1880 by retired Civil War Captain Tom Albritton, and currently operated by 16 of his descendants.
"I can think of no greater success in business than one that stands the test of time," Crawford said. "This company began with a pioneering spirit, and has thrived and flourished to this day."
Today, the business is a diversified one, involving a 2,000-acre citrus-growing operation, a citrus packing plant, a juice plant, seven retail stores and four cattle ranches. It employs 50 year-round employees, and an additional 200 employees during the height of the citrus season.
The family is now headed by Karl Albritton, grandson of the retired Civil War captain who began the company.
Karl Albritton turned what was in 1946 the familys 20-acre citrus grove into a multi-million-dollar, multi-generational family business that grows, picks, processes, juices, gift wraps, ships and sells oranges, even using leftover pulp and rinds to feed their cattle.
Karl Albritton, who is widely known for supporting civic, charitable and church activities in his community, is a member of the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame and the Citrus Hall of Fame. He turned 99 years of age yesterday.
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