Lime-centric SiCar Farms expanding citrus line
SiCar Farms, a Mexican lime specialist with U.S. operations headquartered in McAllen, TX, continues to expand its product line by adding other commodities, including a more robust line-up of winter citrus.
“We grow key lime, Persian lime, dragon fruit, coconut, and pineapple,” said Director of Sales Jackie Carrillo, adding that SiCar Farms is the largest U.S. importer of limes from Mexico. “Now, we are increasing our portfolio with many other commodities like lemons, grapefruit, and orange.”
The company was founded by Sigifredo Gudino and Carmen Ochoa more than three decades ago, with the current senior leadership comprised of the second generation of the family. SiCar Farms is a family-owned business that has more than 40 years of experience in the ag space. It is a vertically integrated company with farming operations, greenhouses, packing facilities, a juice and oil processing plant, and transportation services, as well as distribution centers in Mexico and the United States. “Our competitive advantage is our supply chain, being a vertically integrated company and the largest lime importer gives us the opportunity to serve customers from all over the world,” Carrillo said.
She added the company is focused on building out its product line as it also has important partnerships with suppliers of tomatoes, papaya, hot peppers, jicama, aloe vera, cilantro, and cucumbers, as well as other items.
Speaking of the company’s signature item, Carrillo said: “We see an upward push on the consumption of limes and winter citrus (lemons, grapefruit and oranges) and overall, fresh produce. People are more than ever taking care of their meals and the importance of citrus fruit in their daily diet.”
Limes are a product used heavily in the foodservice sector and SiCar Farms did feel the loss of that business during the restaurant restrictions caused by COVID-19 over the past 18 months. “They are coming back in business already which makes us happy,” Carrillo said. “We are pleased to be part of their business and its re-activation.”
In fact, she noted that COVID-19 has impacted every single industry in many ways. “Consumption trends have changed too but we are working every day in order to bring to every table what people expect, with the highest quality and food-safety standards,” she said.
With its McAllen distribution center, Carrillo said the Rio Grande Valley is very important for SiCar Farms as it is the hub for its U.S. imports. “However, we are always looking for different ways to satisfy our customer needs, so we use other ports of entry like California and New Jersey,” she said.
The SiCar Farms executive also reported that being a sustainable company is an important element of the company’s mission. “We are very focused on taking care of our planet,” she said, adding that the grower-packer-shipper-importer has launched several sustainability initiatives. “We would love to cooperate and give our planet back a little of what we have received from it. These initiatives go from acquiring beehives for our fields to having our packing houses operating with solar energy to the development of biodegradable packaging, bio fertilizers, and much more. It’s our commitment to operate in a very sustainable way.”