Our Growers

We work hard to make the best-tasting fruit juices possible. The same pure, natural way our grandparents did.

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Peace River Packing Company was founded in 1928 by a small group of growers to market fresh fruit. Today, the company farms over 3,900 acres of citrus and operates a state-of-the-art packing facility on the original property in Fort Meade. The company markets fresh fruit throughout the United States and abroad.

Larry Black

Peace River Packing Company

Larry Black is a citrus grower and serves as General Manager of the Peace River Packing Company, a citrus cooperative that provides caretaking, harvesting and fresh fruit packing.

As a member of the Florida’s Natural Growers cooperative, Peace River markets a share of its fruit for orange juice.


Roots are important to you—and not just the ones on the trees.
Family is the foundation of our company and part of our heritage. Peace River Packing Company’s owners include three generations of one of the original founders' family. My brother works in our caretaking division, one of my cousins is our Harvesting Manager and another cousin manages our technology.

I’m really proud that Peace River Packing is a major employer in Fort Meade. People can plant roots here and truly become a part of the community. We have team members that span multiple generations of the same family. We have a tradition of excellence and commitment to quality that is part of our core values.

You’re a fifth-generation grower?
Yes. And hoping for the sixth! My kids, Varn and Julia, are young, but interested in agriculture. They are active participants in 4H and look forward to Youth Fair every year!

So how have things changed since your great-grandfather’s day?
Since 1928? The industry is very different. Technology advances have made our packing plant more efficient and improved our ability to care for our groves in ways that are good for the trees and the environment. Farms have had to consolidate to stay efficient. Freezes, hurricanes, invasive pests and diseases have been challenges over the years. Research has produced numerous innovations that have allowed our company to become more efficient and prosper.

Such as…?
I have traveled to South America several times to learn new technologies to use in our groves. I serve on the Board of Directors of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation. This foundation administers grants for research and product development to help our industry innovate. Serving on the Board of Directors for Florida Citrus Mutual allows me to share what I’ve learned with policymakers and government officials to help them understand the importance of our industry to Florida’s economy.

Gaze into the big orange crystal ball. What do you see?
I believe citrus has a bright future in Florida—as long as we see our growing challenges as opportunities and aren’t afraid of change. I’m committed to helping the citrus industry move forward. I love to share the good news about Florida citrus and agriculture by working with local schools to support agricultural programs that foster students' interest in the opportunities and new technologies that are critical to our industry’s success. Peace River Packing sponsors a number of activities within the Fort Meade community, including an annual scholarship, youth sports and civic events.

You and your wife are past recipients of the Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award.
Jenny and I were honored to be recognized by the Florida Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau for our commitment to agriculture. We believe in the future of agriculture, and are proud to be a part of organizations like the Farm Bureau and Florida’s Natural Growers that help us continue the tradition of bringing healthy Florida citrus to families all over the world.


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