California cherries start soon
Fresno, Calif.-based Trinity Fruit Sales will start shipping cherries around April 24, said Oscar Ramirez, salesman. Apricots will come about April 30, followed by nectarines.
“We’re introducing a new poly bag this year,” he said. “It’s getting printed before the start of May for peaches, plums and nectarines. We’ll have a brand new cherry bag for this season.”
Washington cherries due early June
Howard Nager, vice president of marketing for Domex Superfresh Growers, expects the Washington cherry crop to start production around June 4-6.
“The cherries started to bud today in Washington,” he said. “It’s going to be a big crop this year. Where last year was about 14 million boxes, we anticipate — weather permitting — 20 million-plus boxes this year. The beginning of June is ideal for Fourth of July ads.”
The company’s cherries will be packaged in a zippered standup pouch.
Coachella grapes early
Anthony Vineyards plans to start organic grapes out of California’s Coachella Valley May 1, said Rob Spinelli, sales and marketing.
“It’s about two weeks earlier than last year because of the nice weather in the Coachella Valley this winter,” he said. “We’ll have conventional grapes around the same time. We’ll go through December.”
Dave’s Specialty sings organic blues
Organic blueberry volume available through Miami-based Dave’s Specialty Imports will probably be up as much as 60% over last year, said Mike Bowe, owner.
“We’ve got a decent window at the moment because Chile is just finishing and there’s not much production off the West Coast,” he said. “The West Coast starts in the next week or so. We’ll try to gauge that. Chile has their fumigation issue, which totally wipes out organic.”
Year-round figs to Canada
Stellar Distributing Inc., Madera, Calif., has stepped up volumes of Mexico-grown figs shipping to Canada.
“Last year we started dabbling in it, and this year we’re doing five times the production,” said Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager. “These are figs grown outside of Mexico City. We’ll start Coachella May 1. It’s year-round figs for Canada.”
“Mexican figs can’t come into the U.S. right now,” he said. “They’re about a year away.” Those figs started harvesting in November and finish in May as Coachella, Calif., comes online.
California strawberries peaking
California strawberry production racked up big numbers as the Easter and Mother’s Day holidays approached.
“If everything goes right we could very well hit 8 million trays weekly, which would be huge for this time of year,” said Jan Garrett, national trade relations manager for the Watsonville-based California Strawberry Commission.
“Right now we’re between 6.5 and 7.5 million trays a week through the end of April,” Garrett said. “We have production coming out of Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Maria and Watsonville. So now is the time to promote.”