Rainier Fruit delivers on organic blueberry quality, consistency

rainierblues Growth in the organic blueberry category has been significant over the past several seasons, and Rainier Fruit Co. based in Selah, WA is poised to make the most of it. The fifth-generation, family-owned -and-operated grower, packer, shipper has a foundation rooted in the soil — literally and figuratively.

“Organic blueberries have been one of the fastest-growing categories for several years and have only boosted even more so during the recent consumer behavior shifts. More than ever, health-conscious consumers are looking for nutrient-dense convenient snacks and fresh ingredients to add to their favorite staples,” said Tyler Johnson, blueberry commodity manager for Rainier Fruit.

“At Rainier, we have been around for five generations and want to foster practices that will support those to come,” he continued. “Stewardship is one of our primary tenents as a company; we’ve been entrusted with maintaining our lands not just for ourselves but our neighbors, children and all future generations.”

The company’s blueberry operation is on track to become Bee Better Certified in July 2020. “The need to sustain the environment and the organisms that call it home is crucial to that goal, which makes involvement in programs like Bee Better Certified a natural choice.” said Johnson. Collaborating with the Xerces Society, Rainier Fruit planted nearly 150 acres of pollinator-friendly wildflowers across multiple ranches to help attract, protect, and sustain native pollinators. Johnson also noted that the Bee Better Certified seal also gives confidence to source-conscious consumers that their purchasing decisions benefit conservation-minded companies.

“By building new habitats and limiting threats, such as pesticides, the team at Rainier Fruit is creating resilient farming systems that benefit pollinators and many other beneficial insects they rely on,” said Cameron Newell, Bee Better Certified program coordinator. “We are proud of the habitat work that Rainier has done across many of their ranches and we are excited to see them embrace Bee Better Certified.”

The company plans on expanding the certification to cover not only their organic blueberries, but additional crops in their portfolio as well throughout coming seasons.

As consumers make fewer store trips and change their buying habits, success means something different for every retailer. As consumers grow excited for a taste of summer, Rainier is ready to help set up their partners for another great season. One hundred percent of its organic blueberries are grown in micro-climates across Eastern Washington to grow high-quality berries of the latest genetics. 

“At Rainier, we understand every minute counts to maintain longevity of shelf life, maximize quality, and drive repeat purchases for the retailer, which is why from field to grocery, our berries travel through an unbroken cold chain that protects their firmness and flavor,” said Johnson. ”All the work put into our certifications, rigorous growing practices, and hyper-focused cold chain program allows us to have the same consistent quality year over year and we expect no different from the 2020 crop.”

Rainier will ship its organic blueberries in clamshells June through September 2020.

tpn daily signup

Magic Sun expands year-round offerings, organic varieties meet market demands
The fresh produce market, like all grocery categories, is experiencing new challenges relating to the COVID-19 virus. Significant changes with restaurant and foodservice sectors required a balancing act for growers and shippers to find viable options for seasonal volume. The “work from home model” has also created a new market Read More ...
Michigan apple growers ready for harvest
Michigan’s much-anticipated apple crop is right on schedule, and growers are ready to harvest the delicious fruit for consumer to enjoy. “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, so many events and traditions have been cancelled. But nature doesn’t get cancelled,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Read More ...
Tops pilots produce-saving Flashfood program
Beginning this month, Tops Friendly Markets will begin piloting an innovative and interactive in-store food waste program at six of its locations allowing customers to purchase food nearing its sell-by date. Items like produce, meat, deli, bakery, and dairy, may be listed at up to 50 percent off on the Flashfood app and Read More ...
Smith’s Farm places emphasis on worker safety, meeting retail commitments
As a multigenerational grower, Smith’s Farm is accustomed to facing challenges that crop up during the year, from weather to labor to water. But this year’s coronavirus outbreak presented a new wrinkle to the already challenging business of farming. “We typically make final decisions on our summer Maine broccoli plantings in Read More ...
Envy ranks No. 1 for nationwide branded apple sales
Envy apples further secured their position as the leading sweet, premium apple, during the 2019-20 Washington season — evident by double-digit growth in sales, volume and velocity and strengthened retail partnerships — creating momentum for the New Zealand Envy crop available now. “The phenomenal growth Envy achieved this Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse