California strawberry business updates - The Packer

California strawberry business updates

03/27/2013 02:30:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Pacific AgPak goes to RPET material

Pacific Agricultural Packaging, Watsonville, Calif., is making its clamshell containers for strawberries with RPET — recycled polyethelene terephthalate — material, said Dave Baum, vice president of sales.

The clamshells are available in 8-ounce and 1-, 2- and 4-pound sizes and feature a water bottle image reflecting the material the containers are made from.

The company also is promoting its high-cube Freight-Buster clamshells, which enable shippers to pack more containers per pallet and maximize truck capacity bringing down freight rates.

Pacific AgPak also has 1- and 2-pound clamshells stacked eight-down that have stacking tabs allowing containers to nest in each other and improve stacking capability, he said.

Red Blossom Sales jumps into Facebook

Salinas, Calif.-based Red Blossom Sales Inc. planned to go live on Facebook in March, said Michelle Deleissegues, director of marketing.

“We’ve had some consumers inquiring about finding us on Facebook, and so we decided to move forward to build dynamic connections with consumers,” she said. “Our initial intention is to create a forum where we can instantly connect with consumers and also give them greater access to Red Blossom.”

Santa Cruz tries pair of organic cultivars

Santa Cruz Berry Farming, Watsonville, Calif., is experimenting with two private cultivars for organic strawberries, said owner Fritz Koontz. The as yet unnamed varieties from Kanaka Peak Research LLC, Watsonville, are characterized by their vibrant color and sweet taste, he said. Eventually the varieties also may be used on the conventional side, he said.

The company also is working on organic raspberries and blackberries with good flavor and good shelf life, Koontz said.

Santa Cruz Berry Farming has about 200 acres of strawberries in Santa Maria, Calif., this season, and will ship out of that area until midsummer. The company’s Watsonville deal will start in April or May.

Well-Pict offers organic strawberries

Watsonville, Calif.-based Well-Pict Berries is responding to consumer demand for organic strawberries, said sales manager Dan Crowley.

“As our customers are more readily asking for organic product, we are proud to offer our premium, proprietary strawberries that are grown adhering to the (U.S. Department of Agriculture) guidelines for organic growing,” he said.

Certified organic foods

are grown under strict standards that don’t allow the use of pesticides, he said, and

USDA-certified growers are regularly inspected to ensure they’re operating under the strict standards enforced by the USDA.

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