Tony Biondo of Trucco, Inc. Details Tight Blueberry Market
VINELAND, NJ - Weather is heating up in the United States, and shoppers are continuing to reach for refreshing packs of fresh berries. One berry that is seeing increased interest amid trends and social media is the mighty blueberry. As the blueberry season is still going on for Trucco, Inc., I got in touch with Tony Biondo, Sales Director, to gauge where the company is during the season amid price increases and a tight market.
With lower volumes and demand peaking, Tony explains that the market remains very tight in the Northeast, and with the pipeline less full, it may take a few weeks before prices come down.
“Prices out of New Jersey were the highest I’ve ever seen. New Jersey had no competition at all from other growing regions,” explains Tony. “However, we are anticipating about another week of harvesting left for our New Jersey blueberry crop.”
Another culprit affecting the blueberry market was unfavorable weather conditions, which proved to be difficult in terms of pollination and attributed to low supplies.
“Our blueberry volume was down compared to last year, coming out to around 30 percent due to the cold winter weather. Because it was so windy, bees weren’t able to pollinate well,” continues Tony. “Some farms had freeze damage as well. It has been a unique season with demand being so high and volume down drastically from last year, but we were able to keep all of our customers happy.”
As we look outside of Trucco’s main hub in New Jersey, Tony touches on the company’s Michigan production, where we will see supplies ramp up. The market should ease up a little in the coming weeks with Michigan beginning and Northwestern berries following close after at the end of the month. There are also some Peruvian blueberries being imported to help fill demand as well.
“We got our first Michigan blueberries recently toward the middle of the month,” Tony tells me. “Right now, we are predominantly growing from our New Jersey farms, but our Michigan blueberries have started with our British Columbia blueberries starting by the end of July. Our Peruvian program will begin in August, so we expect a successful blueberry season to come.”
How will this berry market continue to play out? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.