Organic berries fight for their market share

05/12/2011 02:09:00 PM
Cynthia David

“It’s a small deal, but it’s proving very popular with good demand and nice quality,” said sales manager David Cook. “It should go until mid-May, but it could go to the end of May, it’s hard to say.”

Last year was the first year San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce had a year-round organic strawberry program, from Baja Califor-nia to Watsonville.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking because we didn’t know how strawberries, let alone organic strawberries, were going to fare in the marketplace under last year’s severe economic conditions,” said Mark Munger, vice president of market-ing.

“Our customers responded well, so this year we’ve upped the acreage in Baja,” Munger said. “Finding unused land there is easy, so it can be certified organic instantly.”

Organics now represents 5% of the company’s acreage, he said. Some Baja fields are covered in screened shade houses to keep out pests.


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