Stemilt Growers Brianna Shales Discusses Artisan Organics™ Peaches & Nectarines
- by Jessica Donnel
WENATCHEE, WA – The final months of summer have arrived, and with them Stemilt’s Artisan Organic™ peaches and nectarines. With Stemilt’s organic peach and nectarine harvest kicking off in late July, retailers can start expecting to see volumes heighten and peak time approaching.
“The later arrival of spring on the West Coast has pushed all crops back in terms of harvest timing, especially when compared to the record early start the year prior,” stated Communications Manager, Brianna Shales. “Our Artisan Organics peaches and nectarines are coming off the tree now and will be ready for promotions in mid-August. These organically-grown, tree-ripened peaches offer retailers a premium product to feature during the last weeks of summer.”
August 15 marks the prime time for retailers to load for promotion, and Stemilt suggests this continue for the next month. Stemilt’s Artisan Organics program is producing vibrant stonefruit that the company says will leave consumers with an overwhelmingly delicious eating experience, and Shales notes that retailers should begin planning advertisements now to catch these peak promotional volumes.
“Retailers should be planning big callouts for advertisements,” explained Shales. “Promote the fact that these fruits are organic, tree-ripened, and jumbo sized. As mid-August arrives, retailers should start running two to three ads over the course of a month to take advantage of the flavors and high qualities of this late-season and all-organic stonefruit.”
The Artisan Organics line is one filled with high-quality stonefruit in large sizes, vibrant colors, and outstanding flavors, according to a press release. The company reports that sugars are high in brix and acid levels are at agreeable levels. Both the organic peaches and nectarines are likely to drive consumers to buy in bulk, so Stemilt is encouraging retailers to highlight the program through the transparency and storytelling provided with its display bins and placing them in highly populated areas within organics sections.
“The organic peaches and nectarines have a wonderful flavor profile this year, which should result in high sales dollars,” added Shales. “This stonefruit is coming off the tree in high-quality conditions due to the growing climate and the best organic farming expertise in the industry.”
The Douglas family transitioned to organic about a decade ago, and have been growing all-organic peaches and nectarines since 2009. Not only do they have a plethora of farming experience, they also grow in a region that complements organic growing conditions, resulting in high-quality Artisan Organic peaches and nectarines.
Stemilt grows its Artisan Organics peaches and nectarines in arid and almost desert-like climates in south central Washington State. The warm days found in these climates allow peaches and nectarines to achieve high sugar levels, while the cool nights allow the tree to rest and develop the stonefruit’s beautiful coloring. This, combined with volcanic soils, give the peaches and nectarines the necessary nutrients to flourish. And due to the Douglas family’s attentiveness to the fruit before harvest optimal picking time, the fruit hangs on the tree longer and gains higher sugars and color.
“It takes multiple picks from the same tree to harvest all of our Artisan Organics peaches and nectarines, as this is how we ensure that flavor comes first,” continued Shales. “Growing classic varieties organically and harvesting at just the right moment is key to produce dessert-quality peaches and nectarines.”
Once picked, the organic peaches and nectarines go through a dedicated sorting and packing line that uses modern technology to sort the fruit based on quality and color. After being sorted and packed, the fruit is cooled by jet coolers, with fans engineered to cool the fruit quickly and evenly, while significantly reducing time and energy.
“The jet coolers are making a significant difference in quality and shelf-life,” stated Shales. “Each and every step in the process, from tree to truck, is crucial in delivering the highest quality fruit to our consumers, and we pride ourselves in achieving that goal every harvest.”
To learn more about Stemilt’s Artisan Organic nectarine and peach program, visit the company here.