Farm to Fork

Learn how Lil SnappersTM get from our farms to your fork.

The apples, pears, and citrus for Lil Snappers are grown on trees by farmers that care a lot about growing quality, great tasting fruit. Stemilt Growers farms apples and pears in orchards throughout eastern Washington, while Sunkist Growers citrus comes from groves in California and Arizona.

During harvest, each piece of fruit is hand-picked from the tree and taken to a nearby packing facility. Apples and pears are harvested in the fall and oranges come off the tree in the winter.

Throughout the year, fresh applespears, and citrus are sized, sorted, and packed in Lil Snappers bags. Every piece is inspected to ensure quality, safety, and freshness comes first.

Lil Snappers bags are labeled with the variety of fruit inside them so that you know which fruit you are about to enjoy. Then, boxes of Lil Snappers are loaded onto refrigerated trucks to travel to your grocery store where they are displayed for you to see, purchase, and enjoy. This process happens with special care every day!

How Lil Snappers are GrownTM

Tending to an orchard or grove is a year-round job for Stemilt and Sunkist farmers!

In Stemilt orchards, a new crop of apples or pears gets its start in the spring, when warm weather leads tiny buds to blossom into flowers. Bees pollinate the flowers, and a new apple or pear begins to grow. Throughout the summer, growers will water, feed, and thin fruits from trees to ensure each tree is in balance and has the sunlight it needs to grow delicious fruits. In the fall, apples and pears are harvested by hand and taken to Stemilt’s nearby packing facility before making their final trip to your grocery store. Come winter, it’s time for trees to take a well-deserved rest. To do that, they shed their leaves and wait for cold temperatures to arrive to go dormant.

Sunkist’s own farm-to-table story started in 1893 with a group of citrus growers dedicated to growing the highest quality fruit. Founded on the principle that we are stronger together, the Sunkist cooperative now includes thousands of growers across California and Arizona. It’s on these farms where Sunkist’s quality truly begins, simply and naturally. Cultivated by generations of farming experience, in some of the most ideal conditions in the world, Sunkist strives to grow the tastiest citrus fruit. Many of our Sunkist growers are the sons and daughters of Sunkist growers, raised on the very farms where they live and work today and they pass their knowledge and experience along to their own children. All our fruit is harvested at just the right time and with the utmost care, each piece handpicked in the orchards and treated as gently as possible on its way to a nearby packing house.

Sustainability

Stemilt and Sunkist are different companies, but as farmers of fruits first and foremost, both believe in taking care of the land through sustainable practices. After all, we want kids to enjoy our apples, pears, and citrus for many generations to come!

Stemilt’s Responsible Choice® program has been in place since 1989 and is the reason the company has a ladybug (beneficial insect) on its logo. Today, sustainability is everywhere at Stemilt. We have a compost farm that regenerates our own green waste into natural fertilizer to fuel our fruit trees and a free employee health clinic to ensure our team is healthy and happy. Learn more about Stemilt’s sustainability and social responsibility program here.

Caring for the land where they live and farm, and ensuring it is healthy for the future generations, is fundamental to Sunkist growers. Farming with a focus on the future, many Sunkist growers have adopted sustainable farming practices and environmentally friendly approaches including the use of solar power, water-saving irrigation systems and low-emission vehicles.