Loading…

King Fresh expecting increase in cherry volume

berejiofjWith fresh produce in high demand, California cherry growers are preparing for a lighter crop than is typical. So far, quality appears to be excellent with a very low percentage of spurs and doubles as early indications point toward a volume around 7 million boxes.

“We see no problems so far,” said Keith Wilson, president of King Fresh Produce, based in Dinuba, CA. The company ships early season cherries, among other high-demand commodities like pomegranates, blueberries and strawberries. “We will increase our cherry volume this year by 10 percent,” he continued, “as well as increase our organic cherry offerings.”

King Fresh has been strategically upgrading the packline and its packing process at its Dinuba facility in preparation for the upcoming season, “We’re employing more technology for faster, smoother and more efficient packing,” said Wilson. “And we’ve just completed a $1.2 million expansion, adding 15,000 square feet of regular storage that will expand our palletizing area, giving us more capacity.”

One of three early season cherry shippers between Bakersfield and Fresno, the company boasts mainly red cherry varieties, but does ship a small amount of Rainiers as well. “The early season cherry deal is interesting because there’s no supply prior to the California season,” said Wilson. “The pipeline is dry, and since California cherries are one of the earliest crops to harvest, we don’t compete head on with the tree fruit or grapes for labor.”

As far as value for the retailer, Wilson reported big success with one- and two-pound cherry clamshells but noted that King Fresh is always willing to try new packaging types to meet the needs of the individual retailer. Wilson’s opinion of the very best value though? Location.

“My take with cherries is that a lot of these early varieties are grown in the 50-mile are around where our packinghouse is located,” he said. “A lot of that fruit is being trucked out of the region to be packed, and that means a lot of miles on those cherries. Packing early-season cherries right here in Dinuba results in a significant savings in freight, and in general, packouts seem to be better with less miles on the fruit.”

With so many other tree fruits shipping in the region, Wilson said it makes more sense to pick up multiple fruits in one place, loading cherries with other stone fruits.

New Zealand Envy and Jazz expected to turn heads
The New Zealand apple crop has landed, and retailers and shoppers should expect fresh, large and exceptionally flavorful apples to hit stores in June, enabling high-quality, year-round apple programs from T&G Global. T&G’s New Zealand apple volumes are up compared to last year, with Jazz and Envy driving the program, Read More ...
Western Growers mourns longtime staffer Tom Oliveri
Tom (Tommy O) Oliveri, a longtime Western Growers staffer who retired from the association in January 2018, several months shy of his 40th anniversary, died in his home Thursday morning, May 28. He was 67. Over four decades, Mr. Oliveri demonstrated uncommon dedication to the WG membership, establishing himself as a Read More ...
Homegrown Organic Farms earns EFI certification, shipping labeled product next week
Homegrown Organic Farms announced its certification from Equitable Food Initiative for its California-grown, organic stone fruit.  This certification demonstrates Homegrown Organic Farms’ dedication to the improved lives of its direct employees and all those associated with their organization.  EFI-labeled product will Read More ...
Magic Sun hires new sales operations director
Magic Sun, a leading hydroponic tomato grower in Mexico, is seeing strong growth and increasing interest in its program to deliver high-quality, year-round greenhouse-grown product. Alejandro Santander, vice president of sales and operations and one of the original founders of Magic Sun, indicated that the overall tomato market Read More ...
Buehler’s names new EVP of sales and marketing
Buehler’s Fresh Foods, a leading supermarket chain in northeast Ohio, promoted Mike Davidson to the position of executive vice president of sales and marketing. In Davidson’s new role his responsibilities include oversight of all current sales and merchandising departments, marketing, customer insights, central kitchen Read More ...
Patrinka Crammond joins Shanley Farms
Citriburst Finger Lime grower Shanley Farms has added Patrinka Crammond in business and program development. Crammond, has an extensive background in the produce industry, most recently seven years with Savor Fresh Farms Kiss Melon program in sales and retail program development. “With many retail relationships and experience Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse