ABOUT THE SATICOY LEMON ASSOCIATION
We are a non-profit agricultural cooperative. The marketing of our grower member’s fruit is handled through our affiliation with Sunkist Growers, Inc.
Since 1933, our mission has been to provide the finest quality lemons and best customer service in the citrus industry. Working with our growers, our goal has always been to provide a year round supply of quality lemons for distribution both domestically and abroad. Our association’s success is made possible by our efficient operations, quality grower base, advanced technology, commitment to our employees and successful marketing by Sunkist.
Our story starts on February 3, 1933 when J.H. Bays, James D. Culbertson, Victor E. Cummings, E.C. Kimball, John E.B. Merriman, C.M. Warren, and President Albert J. Thille met to form an organization that was dedicated to delivering lemons for Sunkist to market. A contest was held during the first organizational meeting to determine the association name. Leighton R. Stewart won $5.00 for formulating the winning association name that has branded us to this day- Saticoy.
The following year on July 25, 1934, Mr. Ben Ernsberger was selected as the first packing house manager. Since then, we’ve only had 4 additional packing house managers, further instilling the stability and unique value Saticoy Lemon has in the citrus industry. Following Ernsberger was Vaughn White (1954-1964), Carl McKnight (1964-1988), Glenn Miller (1988-2022) and our current president, Marty Coert.
Before we became the largest lemon cooperative in the world, we were comprised of only 18 growers, 362 acres of lemons groves, and a crop of 185,000 cartons. After successfully developing a loyal customer base and excelling in grower support, our expansion was a result of grower recruitment and mergers with other Ventura County lemon companies. We merged with Fillmore Lemon Association in 1962, Briggs Lemon in 1977, and Seaboard Lemon in 1985.
Since then, we have grown to become the largest lemon cooperative in the world. We operate in three packing houses throughout Ventura County handling 9 and a half million cartons of lemons a year. We are now comprised of more than 170 Sunkist lemon grower members that represent more than 9,000 acres of lemons from each of the major growing areas of California. Of those 9 and a half million cartons of lemons, 6 million go to fresh market and 3.5 million are used in other products. With packing and shipping capabilities in the San Joaquin Valley, we are able to meet high demand with quality service year round. In addition, we are able to provide value-added services which assist our customers in their marketing efforts.
We are handling more fruit now than ever before. With the hard work of our growers and management team, Saticoy Lemon continues to strive and grow in the citrus industry by providing the best lemons around.
The origin of crate labels dates back to the 1880s. The labels served two purposes, identifying the product in the crate and identifying the packing house. The labels were pasted on the end of each fruit crate. To attract more business, the packers used bright colors and vivid artwork. Through the years, the designs were often changed to appear ‘in style’. New images were being used every day! By the mid-1950s, packers discovered the pre-printed cardboard box. The sudden end of the traditional wooden crate caused large quantities of unused labels. These unused labels were often thrown away or burned. The labels that exist today were saved by collectors or former packing house employees. Below are images of crate labels that Saticoy Lemon owns and uses to this day.