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Greg Martin Berry Market Part 2
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: December 14, 2011

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Berry Market Part 2. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Yesterday we began a look at how the small fruit or berry production affects the consumer marketplace. John Johnston is with Driscoll Strawberry Association.

JOHNSTON: We spend a lot of resources and energy into research and development of of the berries. I think we’re spending roughly 5 to 6 million dollars a year just on genetic plant development every year. The idea is that we can continually create better berries through genetic development.

He says they are really looking for the best berries that will appeal visually and taste good.

JOHNSTON: Our got to market strategy is really pretty simple. We start with the brand. We only sell branded berries, we don’t do any private label. We make sure that we have year round supply of all 4 berry types whether it’s strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries. We treat berries as a destination category and we work with retailers to make sure they are displaying those berries up front and center in the produce department.

Berries are grown mostly in coastal areas and the growing seasons vary including the blueberry season here in the state.

JOHNSTON: It’s a pretty long season, growing season for blueberries. It goes from middle of June all the way through the end of October and blueberries is one of the only berries that we actually store like apples. But we don’t get near the time that you do on apples. With controlled atmosphere we might get 4 weeks; modified atmosphere we buy a couple of weeks but those few weeks are important as we’re winding down the end of the northwest season.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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