John L. Hundley Named Chairman Of The Board Of Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative Of Florida
BELLE GLADE, Fla., Aug. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — John L. Hundley was named chairman of the board of directors of Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative yesterday following the full retirement of George H. Wedgworth, the founding president and chairman for more than a half century.
“Serving as Chairman of the Board and President for more than 50 years has been my life’s work and extremely rewarding,” said Wedgworth. He noted that during his tenure, the Cooperative’s processing facility has grown from a 5,000 ton grinding capacity per day to the state-of-the-art sugarcane processor of 26,000 tons per day. Additionally under his leadership the Cooperative became vertically integrated with its refining partner Florida Crystals Corporation which now own and operate the world’s largest cane sugar refining company, ASR Group. Wedgworth added, “I’m very comfortable with the transition and am pleased to be able to hand over the helm to my good friend, colleague and fellow grower-member John Hundley.”
Hundley was elected to the Cooperative Board in 1986 and has served on the executive committee for 16 years. He is president of Hundley Farms, Inc. which grows sugarcane, sweet corn, rice, tomatoes, squash, cotton, peanuts, soybeans and assorted winter produce in the Everglades Agricultural Area, Bainbridge GA and scattered farms in central and north Florida. A native of Pahokee, Hundley grew his father’s farming operation that he operated from 1965-1969. In 1969, he and his wife Patsy formed Hundley Farms, Inc. that they have turned into a multi-generational operation with their daughter Krista and son-in-law Eric Hopkins and son John Scott Hundley.
Hundley sits on the Board of the Florida Sugar and Molasses Exchange, Pioneer Growers and served on the board of Farm Credit of South Florida for 15 years. He was also appointed to the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board serving from 1978-1983. During his tenure on the District Board, the Board served as the Board of the Keys Aqueduct Authority and spearheaded the efforts to revamp the Authority to assure residents of the Keys a steady source of clean drinking water.
In accepting his new role as chairman Hundley said, “I’m honored to be selected by my fellow board members to carry on the strong role the Cooperative plays in assuring a vital agricultural community in the Glades. I look forward to working with the Board, grower-members and staff to continue to grow the business for the benefit of all.”
“Today marks a historic day in the history of the Cooperative,” said Antonio L. Contreras, CEO and president of the Cooperative. “George’s vision, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit are the hallmark of the Cooperative. His mission will continue to be carried out by the dedicated Board, staff and grower-members.”
The Belle Glade based Cooperative is comprised of 46 grower-members who produce sugarcane on 70,000 acres producing 3.2 million tons of sugarcane and 350,000 tons of raw sugar. The Cooperative employs 540 people during the height of the harvest season. Along with Florida Crystals Corporation the Cooperative owns ASR Group, the world’s largest sugar refining company with an annual production capacity of more than 6 million tons of sugar. The company produces a full line of consumer, industrial, and food service products. In the European Union, the company owns and operates sugar refineries in London, England and Lisbon, Portugal. Across North America, ASR Group owns and operates six refineries located in New York, California, Maryland, Louisiana, Canada and Mexico. The company’s brand portfolio includes the leading brands Tate & Lyle®, Lyle’s Golden Syrup®, Sidul®, Sores®, Domino®, C&H® and Redpath®.
SOURCE Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida