The Giumarra Companies Partners with Glacier Fresh™ to Market Montana Cherries
- by Eva Roethler
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Giumarra Companies is teaming up with family-owned Montana cherry provider Glacier Fresh to market the orchard’s harvest this summer.
“We are excited to partner with a like-minded company to expand our premium cherry category,” said Craig Uchizono, VP Southern Hemisphere of the Giumarra Companies.
Flathead Lake-based Glacier Fresh was founded in 2001. Its location in western Montana is, according to a Giumarra press release, an ideal cherry-growing microclimate with long summer days and cool nights. In accordance with the company’s name, Glacier Fresh’s cherry orchards are fed with mountain glacier water that helps produce exceptionally large, sweet cherries.
“Our farms have traditionally been focused on growing high-quality fruit for the export market,” noted Cody Herring, Owner of Glacier Fresh. “In working with Giumarra, we both felt it would be advantageous to introduce this fruit to retail customers in the U.S. We have a large team here every summer who help harvest our fruit, and we consider them part of the Glacier Fresh family.”
Glacier Fresh employs local students and teachers in its custom packinghouse each summer to help pack and ship its crop, and also hosts permanent field staff in cabins on nearby wooded property. The company will begin harvest of Rainier and Dark Red varieties in late-July, and soon thereafter, the company’s cherries will be available to domestic markets in bulk or packaged in Glacier Fresh-branded pouch bags.
“We are excited to see our cherries coming to U.S. stores this summer, as most consumers don’t know we grow such incredible fruit right here in Montana,” said Dusti Herring, Co-Owner of Glacier Fresh and wife of Cody. “We are very proud of our fresh cherry varieties and look forward to working with Giumarra to place them in stores both in our local area and across the country.”
Currently, Glacier Fresh works with local Montana growers to pack and ship more than one million pounds of fruit—more than 25 percent of the state’s annual cherry harvest. The company's press release also noted that Cody visited large growing operations in Europe and New Zealand during his most recent off-season and ultimately invested in sorting equipment with advanced computer software to digitally monitor size and quality on the pack line.
“We are expanding our growing operations annually to meet domestic and international demand, and it’s important for us to maintain quality and be competitive with large growers in the marketplace,” said Cody.
Additionally, the Herrings have announced plans to offer a farm stand to their ten-year-old son Quinn: “While we have not previously sold our cherries to the public, we decided our son is old enough to begin learning the business and this would be a great way to teach him the value of a dollar,” said Dusti.
The partnership marks the first time Giumarra has worked with a Montana-based cherry orchard.
“Cody and Dusti are excellent examples of progressive, young family farmers who are committed to growing their business using modern technology,” noted Hillary Brick, Senior VP Marketing for the Giumarra Companies. “We’re proud to include them in our family of growers as we work together to feed the world in a healthy way.”
Check in with us at AndNowUKnow for more on this and other important collaborative efforts in the produce industry.