Berry People expands Baja California organic strawberry program

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Berry People expands Baja California organic strawberry program


Hollister, CA - Berry People has announced the start of its organic strawberry season from Baja California in Mexico, having recently completed a successful first year of operations.

These top-quality strawberries, which are now available in both an 8x1lb and 12x8.8oz formats, will ramp up in volume in January, peak from February through April, and taper off in June.

The Baja season comes at a time when U.S. domestic production is limited, providing retailers and their customers an attractive alternative for a reliable supply of organic strawberries. Work is also underway to develop acreage for substantial November and December volumes next season.

"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.

"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," said Downs.

Company growth and completion of successful first year

Berry People has a unique and caring style of operating, maintaining close personal relationships with everyone along the supply chain from farm workers to consumers, providing an end-to-end value chain perspective. It is in part thanks to this ethos that the company has grown from strength to strength since it started operating in late 2017 and is now set for further controlled 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."

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 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."

About Berry People: Berry People is a year-round, full-line shipper of organic and conventional strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and avocados, and owner of the Berry People® and Avo People brands®. Headquartered in Hollister, California, the company’s ownership and key alliance partners hold important production assets in California, Mexico, Chile and Peru. All product is graded and allocated by pallet, and all growers are fully compliant with USDA and FDA regulations on food safety and organic practices. Berry People operates with a strong company ethos along its entire supply chain that emphasizes complementarity, stewardship and empathy.

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