Cherry harvest is starting to ramp up in the early growing regions in California. “Yesterday was the first big day for picking for us,” says Tad Brusseau with Sutherland, S.A. “We are harvesting and packing Royal Tioga & Royal Tenaya and the big volumes are here.”
Brusseau oversees packing and quality control for Sutherland in California and works closely with Meena Farms. “Our grower dodged a bullet this past weekend as a forecasted rainstorm skipped the orchards. For the second year in a row, Mother Nature has been very forgiving to Meena Farms,” Brusseau commented. “We are looking forward to a phenomenal year with both quality and volume being up from last year.”
The size profile of California cherries overall is expected to be a bit smaller this year, but that is not what Brusseau is seeing in the packing house with a large amount of size 9 row and 9.5 row being shipped.
“We have very high quality standards for our premium export labels through an exhaustive hands-on approach,” shared Brusseau. “Meena Farms respects that as their commitment to quality is identical. We are very like-minded, both putting our label and quality first.”
California cherries are highly sought after all over the world. Since the season has a short window and value of the fruit is high, the exclusive fruit is shipped by air. “The export market to Asia in particular is very strong. Late last week, pallets from a smaller block of Tioga cherries were shipped to Vietnam and it was like a frenzy. Word of mouth travels fast and all importers went crazy and were trying to get their hands on them. The response was fantastic,” concluded Brusseau.