California fig board plans outreach
Karla Stockli, chief executive officer of the California Fig Advisory Board, Fresno, said another blogger outreach event is planned for the summer.
Bloggers will be invited to participate in a regional promotion that will highlight fresh figs.
“This is Figology Phase 2. We did Figology Phase 1 in April with dried figs,” Stockli said.
The timeline for the campaign will coincide with the fresh figs peak, in July through September, she said.
DeBenedetto monitors sierras
Fresno, Calif.-based DeBenedetto Fruit Co. LLC, planted a block of land with sierra fig trees last year, and Maury DeBenedetto, partner, expects those to begin production in a couple of more years.
DeBenedetto said he sees the sierra fig variety as unique, despite the possible intention for the variety to eventually replace the calimyrna variety.
“It’s its own distinct variety,” he said.
He said he doesn’t know if the calimyrna will ever really be replaced.
The company planted about 35 acres of the new variety, DeBenedetto said.
Stellar Distributing Inc., Madera, Calif., has developed new packaging, said Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager.
Stellar markets figs grown by The Specialty Crop Co., Madera, owned by Kevin Herman.
“These new clamshells will be used for the first time this year, and we have another one that we’ll use specifically for tiger figs to help them stand out,” Herman said.
The new trays have individual fig-shaped dividers to protect each fig individually and prevent bruising.
“We took the shape of a fig and molded the tray into a special shape to fit the fig,” Cappelluti said.
The new trays also help cool the fruit faster.
“The old style trays were difficult to get down to 33 degrees, but these new packs can do it in two hours. The whole idea is to give figs more shelf life,” Cappelluti said.
Valley Fig Growers installs solar panels
Linda Cain, vice president for marketing and sales at Valley Fig Growers, Fresno, Calif., said the company has put a lot of effort into increasing its sustainability.
The grower-cooperative installed solar panels in November that offset its power needs.
A few years ago the company added an anaerobic digester that reduces wastewater and sewer output.