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Red currant grower wants to extend domestic seasonAs the red currant season takes a breather before its domestic crop begins in early July, Jaysen Weidner notes that its recently-wrapped Chilean season was a successful one. “There aren’t a whole lot of red currants in the U.S. in general. It’s a smaller item and it typically falls in line with more for wholesale and foodservice types and it’s a seasonal item,” says Weidner of Hurst’s Berry Farm in McMinnville, Or. “We finished up with Chile about a month ago and then we won’t have them again until July 4th until the first week in August.”
Like many commodities coming out of Chile, the red currants came over earlier than anticipated. “Everything that we brought in from Chile went well this year but it’s been an early season for Chile overall,” Weidner says.
Looking ahead to its domestic crop, HBF is looking to do what it can to expand the short-lived red currant season. “This next year we’ll probably see about a 30 percent increase over last year. We’re trying to extend the season a little bit so we put a bit more into the ground,” says Weidner. “So instead of having them for just three to four weeks, we’ll probably be able to have them for six weeks now which will turn more retailers onto them. Then they can carry them on the shelves for more than just a handful of weeks and people aren’t just getting interested in them just as the season is over.”
Extending that season is helpful since demand is generally strong for red currants and pricing has been very stable. “Demand is good. We’ve often not had quite enough for everybody we want to get to,” says Weidner. “So extending the season may open it up a bit so we can expand a little bit more into the Midwest and east coast outlets with our customer base.”
For more information:
Hurst’s Berry Farm
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