Stemilt Growers to Provide Retail Partners with Season-Long Supply
WENATCHEE, WA - Even with a late cherry bloom season, Stemilt Growers tells retail partners to discard last year’s playbook on California cherries! The grower is confident with its retail advice, which compares bloom dates to historical data to provide insight into harvest timing.
“California’s cherry trees bloomed much later than last season and retailers need to know that, so they can adjust their retail promotion plans,” said Roger Pepperl, Marketing Director. “While Mother Nature is keeping us waiting on the crop volume in California, we do know that any volume the industry has coming will come between May 20 and June 20.”
According to the company’s press release, Stemilt has one of the longest growing seasons of any shipper in the U.S. To provide its retail partners with a season-long supply of its World Famous Cherries, the company farms in both California and Washington—which helps the company build trust with its consumers. Stemilt puts its full confidence on a predictive model built off current and historical field data to make the best possible predictions of harvest timing and yield. Not to mention, the years of experience its team members provide only bolsters this model more.
“Quality is at the pinnacle of our cherry program,” expressed Pepperl. “We rely on data to inform our decisions every season and it especially guides us in years like this when timing varies. This year, we knew during bloom that the average temperatures and bloom timing would never align to harvest the bulk of the California crop as early as year’s past. We know it's late and must prepare retailers for plan adjustments to promote this crop at the right moment.”
Using three measurements to get a sense of cherry crop load and timing, Stemilt compares bloom dates to historical data to provide insight into harvest timing and overlaps that data with degree day modeling and soil temperatures. All of this is done to provide the most accurate data. The company’s field staff visits every orchard block to first identify full bloom and then study the crop load on the tree.
“This year, we knew during bloom that the average temperatures and bloom timing would never align to harvest the bulk of the California crop as early as year’s past. We know it's late and must prepare retailers for plan adjustments to promote this crop at the right moment,” said Pepperl. “That experience would be impactful with any crop, but is especially vital in cherries, where the season expectations can change in a moment. The brain trust we have is a great channel for retailers to trust and rely on.”
Based in Stockton, CA, Stemilt’s California cherry growing operation, Chinchiolo Stemilt California, has a six-member field staff with a combined 167 years of cherry experience. They help guide every move and give the company confidence in everything from fruit size and quality to timing and volumes, as stated in the company’s press release.
“We are optimistic that June will be a big month for California cherries, and early predictions into Washington’s crop means a nice transition coming between the two states,” said Pepperl. “Cherries are a huge dollar generator to produce departments and retailers can rely on our intelligence to make their entire season profitable.”
Stemilt knows California cherries are coming later than normal while it waits for trees and Mother Nature to help guide its crop volume predictions. The goal loading time for California cherries will be May 20-June 20, making Memorial Day a great opportunity for the first cherry promotions of the season.
For updates on Stemilt and the cherry season, keep reading AndNowUKnow.