Courtesy Family Tree FarmsDave Jackson, president and founder of Family Tree Farms, checks out blueberry bushes at its Mexican ranch.Banking on proprietary varieties, Reedley, Calif.-based Family Tree Farms expects blueberry production from its Mexican operation this season to be triple that of 2013, and 2015 should see even greater volume.
This fall, it plans to complete the last phase of Mexican plantings, which should reach full production by 2018.
All of its Mexico-grown blueberries are packed and pre-cooled at an on-site facility, according to a news release.
The Mexican output also meshes well with its California blueberry production, enabling the grower-shipper to extend the season to buyers.
“Mexico starts in mid-February, dovetails right into our California production and allows us to provide fresh product to our partners during a low point in worldwide production levels,” David Jackson, founder and president, said in the release. “Our berries are reaching the U.S. border two days after harvest, and you just can’t match that freshness with something that has been on a boat for a week or more.”
In addition, the Mexican operation allows Family Tree Farms to grow proprietary varieties not available in the U.S., according to the release.
The grower-shipper has obtained exclusive North and South American growing rights for a line of blueberry varieties it is calling Blue Bell.
The varieties tend to grow larger berries and should allow expansion of its “Family Tree Farms Jumbo” program.