(UPDATED COVERAGE, 1:55 p.m.) Hurstâs Berry Farm Inc. has spun off its marketing, sales and packing operation into a new company.
HBF International LLC is a partnership between Mark and Patty Hurst, owners of Sheridan, Ore.-based Hurstâs, and Doug Perkins, a former Hurstâs employee, said Mark Hurst, Hurstâs president.
Hurst and Perkins, who has worked for Hurstâs for more than five years, most recently as director of sales and marketing, are HBFâs managing directors, Hurst said.
The creation of Sheridan-based HBF, effective Jan. 1, will allow Perkinsâs role to grow, and will pave the way for Hurstâs role, one day, to diminish.
âIâm not all that old yet, but down the road I may not want to do this anymore,â said Hurst, who is 56. âHaving Doug as an owner rather than an employee, heâll be able to take it further than he already has.â
Creating HBF also provides âclarityâ between the growing side and the sales, marketing and packing side, Hurst said.
Hurst credits Perkins, who is based in Madera, Calif., where he also grows blueberries sold under the Hurstâs banner, with much of Hurstâs expansion the past five years.
Under the new arrangement, Hurst is splitting his time between HBF and Hurstâs.
Hurstâs Berry Farm is continuing to operate as a farming company with operations in Oregon and subsidiaries in Mexico. The company grows blueberries and kiwiberries in Oregon and raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in Mexico.
In addition to those regions, HBF International sources berries from California, Washington, Canada, Chile and Argentina.
All of those deals existed prior to the creation of HBF, said Hurst, who projects continued steady growth in volumes.
HBF has exclusive rights to market and sell Hurstâs berries worldwide. Exports are expected to account for 15% of HBFâs business.