Gourmet Trading Co. has moved into a newly renovated  headquarters in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Gourmet Trading Co. has moved into a newly renovated headquarters in Redondo Beach, Calif.

Cal Giant to honor exceptional people

Watsonville, Calif.-based California Giant Berry Farms has started a program called Giants Among Us, to honor exceptional individuals that inspire others to give back, according to Cindy Jewell, director of marketing.

Jewell said the program “gives us an opportunity to shine a light on employees, friends in the community and friends in the produce industry that we see as ‘Giants Among Us’ that give back to their community.”

The program will launch soon and information on how to nominate someone will be available on the website. California Giant will honor individuals by sharing their story and donations to charities of their choice.

In addition, the company expects to see an increase of blueberry production by 25%.

“It’s part of our long term plan to grow that production and add to the available acreage,” Jewell said.

CBS plants more organic strawberries

CBS Farms, Watsonville, Calif., has increased its organic strawberry acreage.

“The increase in organic acreage is customer related. Our key customers were asking for more,” said Charlie Staka, sales director.

The company increased organic acreage by about 15%, Staka said.

Curry & Co. berry program grows

Brooks, Ore.-based Curry & Co. president Matt Curry said the company is growing its overall berry program.

The company hired Dominic Etcheberria as Los Angeles berry sales manager in the fall 2013 and opened a Los Angeles based office and distribution center, according to Curry.

“We had a strong season with Chilean blueberries, our largest to date, and are continuing that momentum with organic and conventional Mexican blackberries and blueberries through May,” Curry said.

The later berry season is also favorable, Curry said.

“We will then transition to our Oregon blueberry and blackberry programs in June. Our Oregon blueberries will be available into October once again and blackberries through the summer,” he said.

Fresh Results projects increases

Eric Crawford, president of Fresh Results LLC, Sunrise, Fla., said the company expects sizable increases in all major growing areas this year.

Right now, the company is representing a large portion of the Florida blueberry crop.

“Our associates represented 25% of the total volume coming out of Florida, and that will continue to be significant,” Crawford said.

In addition to Florida, Crawford said Fresh Results expects to see increases in Georgia, and growing regions farther north as the year goes on.

Giumarra berry volume increases

Giumarra International Berry, Los Angeles, will have more berries this year.

Gregory Atkinson, West Coast manager and domestic grower relations, said the company will have increased volume this year for blackberries and blueberries because of more mature plantings.

“There are more plants coming to production with more fruit,” Atkinson said.

Gourmet Trading gets larger space

Gourmet Trading Co., previously based in Los Angeles, has moved its headquarters to Redondo Beach, Calif.

The new facility is a 53,000-square-foot building that has been renovated, according to a news release.

Chloe Varennes, marketing manager, said the move will help the company grow.

The move was finalized Jan. 19.

Oppy puts its label on California berries

The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, will deliver its California berry program exclusively in the Oppy label during its inaugural season.

“The clean graphics and consistency of the pack has been met with enthusiasm at retail,” said Nolan Quinn, berry category director.

In addition, the company is expecting increased volume.

“Last season, our Chilean blueberry program was very popular, and we’re looking forward to increasing our volume, Mother Nature permitting,” Quinn said.

Well-Pict runs display contest

Watsonville, Calif.-based Well-Pict Berries ran a display contest from March 20 through April 20.

Retail stores could enter their store’s berry display for a chance to win a $500 gift card.

The company plans a similar promotion for later in the summer after a great response from stores requesting the point-of-sale materials and using them for the spring contest, according to Dan Crowley, vice president of sales and marketing.