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Pricing still favorable for organics
Blackberries from Mexico on track to start in October
"Organic blackberries have had a stellar summer and supplies are still going to be plentiful through November out of California. Supplies are fantastic and very promotable,” says Brian Vertrees, Naturipe’s Director of Business Development-West. “This truly is the peak of the season.”
To meet demand Naturipe is packing in 12x6oz, 8x12oz and 8x18oz cases. “Retailers who are working to grow their share are promoting the 12oz and 18oz cases,” he added. All production is currently sourced from California but Vertrees is happy about his “great crop on deck” in Mexico, which will begin in October.
With no shortage of organics over the summer, pricing was promotable all summer, according to Scott Norman, Director of Blackberry and Raspberry Product Management. Vertrees notes that as an industry volumes are up significantly over prior years. “We’re seeing more aggressive pricing,” he confirms. “The net result is that we have great pricing and volumes for retailers to grow their share on organic blackberries.” Consumers continue to demand organic grown berries – Vertrees believes this is a great opportunity to catch organic blackberries on the rise. “If retailers look at prior year volumes they won’t have a good reference point – this is a new season for organic blackberries and the volumes are there to promote and drive sales,” states Vertrees.
Labor is tight
The organic blackberry program is an increasing category for Naturipe. New plantings are in both California and Mexico (both organic and conventional). “Both organic and conventional blackberry production continues to grow over prior years,” says Vertrees. Labor remains an issue. “It has been tough all summer in California,” says Norman. “We believe labor will still remain tight to finish out the California deal this year.” Conversely, he says he doesn’t foresee any issues in Mexico as of now.
“Recent record heat in California over Labor Day weekend did cause some early quality issues, but in the days following temps have returned to normal and crop has rebounded nicely,” added Norman.
Naturipe Farms LLC
P: (831) 443-2358
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