Berry People Expands Organic Strawberry Program in Baja California
HOLLISTER, CA - It’s raining strawberries! Berry People announced the start of its organic strawberry season from Baja California, Mexico, and the recent completion of a successful first year of operations. These strawbs are now available in both 8 x 1 lb and 12 x 8.8 oz formats; volume is expected to ramp up in January, peak February through April and then taper off in June.
"We are thankful for our strong following on Baja organic strawberries, due largely to the quality of work done by our alliance partner in that region," said Jerald Downs, President of Berry People, in a recent press release. “Not only is the growing area conducive to quality organic production in general, but our strawberries are grown and packed with real 'craftsmanship,’ where the minor details are given rigorous and recurring attention, producing an excellent and trustworthy product. We are grateful for the industry support we’ve received to date, and we are at the same time challenged to improve our overall offering and execution to the brand promise of a year-round and full-line supply of branded organic berries."
The press release also noted that the Baja season comes at a time when U.S. domestic production is limited, which provides retailers and their customers a reliable supply of organic strawberries. Work is underway to develop acreage for substantial November and December volumes next season.
Berry People also has a unique style of operating, maintaining close personal relationships with everyone along the supply chain, which, the company stated, provides an end-to-end value chain perspective.
Downs remarked that the company is now set for further expansion in 2019.
"We are building an experienced and well-balanced team, establishing our distribution and supply footprints, and developing important summertime production to finish out our year-round presence," he stated.
Downs also noted that shareholders recently completed a substantial 2018 equity capital contribution in preparation for 2019’s projected growth.
"A strong balance sheet and sufficient capital resources are important to stay in the vanguard as to the marketplace’s product and service needs, whether that be in the development of new varieties, pack-styles, and technologies, investment into new facilities, or in the provision of harvest advances to key outside growers," said Downs.
Berry People’s team continues to grow in size and experience. The most recent hires include Damon Barkdull and Tom Henslee, who collectively bring over 50 years of experience in produce sales and category management.
"We are very satisfied to see our talented team come together at all levels of the company, as well as our unique systems and process solutions, allowing us to effectively manage our planned inflection point for 2019," Downs said. "These initial accomplishments, while significant, are difficult to savor in light of the plans that lie ahead. In all of this, we hope to remember every step and person along the way, carefully selecting preserving the relationships with the people that make up our inclusive berry community."
Congratulations to Berry People on an auspicious beginning to the new year!