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Pricing and demand should strengthen on berries going into March

Supplies of blackberries and raspberries for Sun Belle are good right now and greater supplies of blackberries are expected over the next months.

Blackberries: Janice Honigberg, president of Sun Belle Inc. in Schiller Park, Il. says its proprietary Amelali and Aketzali blackberry varieties are entering peak production from Mexico now. “We’ll have excellent production throughout March and April, which are typically periods of lower volume for blackberries. These are gorgeous berries--big and dark, without the regression which is often seen in blackberries. And they’re very sweet,” says Honigberg. The peak period on these berries begins at the end of February and goes until the second half of April. Sun Belle will also have peak production of Amelali and Aketzali organic blackberries during the same period.

Ripening Amelali Blackberries in Mexico.

“Our Mexican blackberry season continues through the beginning of June,” says Honigberg. “Our Georgia blackberries dovetail with Mexican at the end of May and peak in June and early July. We will follow Georgia and North Carolina blackberries with product from a wonderful Arkansas farm which peaks from mid July to mid August, and is followed by Mexican blackberries once again.”

Raspberries: “Our raspberry supplies are good. They will stay steady except for a slight peak in May,” says Honigberg. Sun Belle is marketing the proprietary Malu variety. “These are marvelous--large, red and very tasty,” she says, noting “Malu is currently shipping from Central Mexico, but it will also be an important variety during our Baja California season this summer.”

The Malu raspberry (above) is currently shipping from Central Mexico.

While demand on berries has been strong this season, more recently it’s been somewhat inconsistent. “We suspect that a combination of winter storms over the last few weeks combined with political uncertainty internationally has affected shopping behaviors. Also inflationary pressures from other items can impact demand for berries and other fruits,” says Honigberg. “On the whole, demand has been very robust. But there have been more dips than last season,” she adds.

As for pricing, it’s been strong since the start of the year on both blackberries and raspberries. “But again, now post-Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day and post-storms, it’s moved somewhat lower,” says Honigberg. “That should recover as we head into March. We see strong markets to come.”

For more information:
Janice Honigberg
Sun Belle Inc.
Tel: +1 (305) 592-0005
[email protected]