Grapes are among the items coming up for Kern County ( File Photo )

California grape group urges promotions

Jeff Cardinale, vice president of communications for the Fresno-based California Table Grape Commission, said retailers will have plenty of opportunities to promote California grapes this spring and summer.

The organization suggests retailers give the fruit at least 25 square feet May through August.

Doing so can generate up to 63% more dollars per store per year than sets of less than 18 square feet, Cardinale said.

The California Table Grape Commission has several promotional programs in which retailers can participate, including digital and radio ads. Stores can also be part of a June display contest.


Dan Andrews Farms installs solar panels

Bakersfield, Calif.-based Dan Andrews Farms has added some solar panels to the roof of its cold storage facility.

The panels were installed in December, so the upcoming spring and summer will be the first with the technology online, said owner Danny Andrews. He expects the panels will help reduce his energy expense.

“I think they’ll be a good investment,” Andrews said.


Grimmway readies organic potatoes, onions

Bakersfield, Calif.-based Grimmway Farms will soon start its Cal-Organic potato and yellow onion programs.

Its organic red and gold potatoes will be available beginning the week of April 23, said vice president of organic sales Bob Borda.

The company will have its organic rainbow fingerling potatoes the week of May 21 and its organic russet potatoes the week of June 15.

Grimmway expects great quality and strong supply throughout the year for its dry onion program.

The company will also offer bicolor corn from the first week of May through the end of June.


Sun World International adds to staff

Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World International has added to its operations department, according to marketing specialist Danielle Loustalot.

Cecilia Rivera is the director of in-house packing, a new role for the company. She will develop and execute the strategy for that program across four facilities in the Coachella and San Joaquin valleys. She most recently worked for Los Angeles-based The Wonderful Co.

Fernando Garcia has been promoted to director of facilities and will manage the 14 facilities and satellite docks used by Sun World.

Kris Long, the new senior director of facilities and technology, will oversee the facility operations group and information technology for Sun World processes.

Along with adding to its staff, Sun World will offer bicolor and tricolor clamshells in response to growing customer demand.

The company also expects a significant increase in volume, with new plantings of proprietary grapes adding 2 million cartons.


Wonderful Citrus expects more volume

Delano, Calif.-based Wonderful Citrus expects to have more volume for the 2018-19 season, said president David Krause.

Extreme heat last summer caused growers across the state to have a smaller crop this season, though new mandarin acreage for Wonderful allowed the company to have about the same mandarin volume it did in 2016-17, Krause said.

Volume per acre should be better next season.

“We have new acreage that continues to come into production, some that’s in its earliest years of production, so it’ll continue to produce more and more,” Krause said. “We are still planting some locations and growing the total category, although a little bit slower, and we’ll continue to look for opportunities. We’re doing some additional plantings in some of the newer products as well such as cara caras and looking at other varieties to sort of fill out our One Stop Citrus Shop.”