Mexico’s raspberry season is in full swing and the season is expected to last through mid-July. In recent years, North Bay Produce and its partner-growers have put a lot of effort in transitioning from conventional to organic varieties and as a result, 30 percent of the company’s raspberry volume is now grown organically.
“We work with the Adelita variety that was developed in Spain by breeder Planasa,” says Ryan Lockman with North Bay. “It is a club variety that has good appearance, shelf-life, size, and flavor.” Adelita is well suited to Mexico’s climate and altitude. “As a result, we are able to grow a high flavor, organic raspberry.” The life span of the Adelita plant is only three years with the highest yield during the first year. In general, club varieties have become very common for raspberries and have been imperative to the growth of the category worldwide.
Left: Adelita variety.
This year, demand for organic berries seems to continue its growing trend. “Each year, we see an increase for our organic products across the board and organic raspberries are no different. They are seeing incremental increases over last year,” commented Lockman.
The company’s raspberries are trucked immediately from the field to the Mascoutah warehouse in Illinois, just outside of St. Louis. “From there, we can deliver pretty much anywhere in the continental US within 24 hours or less,” he said. “Recent logistical issues have been challenging, but with our warehouses being centrally located in North America, we’ve been able to keep the issues to a minimum.”
Zeta Gimenez, North Bay's Director of Procurement Latin America and one of the company's growers are showing off raspberries grown under hoops in Mexico.
Earlier this year, North Bay launched new packaging for its organic raspberries. Available pack sizes include a 12x6 oz clamshell or re-sealable punnet as well as a 6x12 oz clamshell.
New packaging for organic raspberries.