Agronometrics Interviews: California Giant Berry Farms

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Agronometrics Interviews: California Giant Berry Farms

In this installment of the ‘Agronometrics In Interviews’ series, Sarah Ilyas studies the state of the US blueberry season in an exclusive interview with California Giant Berry Farms. The series is based on interviews with esteemed professionals from the industry, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

What are your expectations for the Florida and California blueberry seasons?

The Florida season has been a success, with supply being above average. The Coastal California season has wrapped up with a very strong year in supply, demand and pricing. The San Joaquin Valley crop has just begun, and production looks good out in the fields. We are optimistic the market will rebound for the Memorial Day pull.

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

How is production in these regions faring compared to last year?

Production has increased in both CA and FL, including GA, which has an above-average crop.

What are your expectations/projections for organic blueberries this season?

Organic blueberries have been in strong demand since last summer. We are expecting that trend to continue.

What advancements is California Giant Berry Farms focusing on in the context of varietal replacement?

Our future plantings are focused on flavor, size, shelf life, high-yield and disease resistant varieties.

What are some challenges that the blueberry industry is facing currently?

The blueberry industry is challenged with the continuation of consumer demand. As the total supply of blueberries continues to grow and strengthen on a year-round basis, there is a growing need to keep demand high while introducing new varieties that customers and consumers enjoy while maintaining profitability for our growers.

Could you elaborate on California Giant’s sustainability initiatives?

California Giant is committed to working with our vendors and within our industry to find innovative, environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

A few of our packaging initiatives include:

  • Transitioning to wash-away labels that eliminate adhesive residue that inhibits recyclability.
  • Providing recycling instructions on all labels through How2Recycle.
  • Aligning with vendors who use post-consumer rPET and are working towards using 100% recycled plastic materials.
  • Piloting a heat seal label which reduces plastic up to 30% per clamshell.

California Giant is certified to carry Fair Trade USA, Sustainably Grown Certified, and Organic produce. We partner with growers that supply the berries and our field team is on site year- round supporting our growers in best practices and certification requirements for food safety, sustainability, and quality.

What techniques/marketing strategies does California Giant employ to boost consumption of blueberries?

California Giant Berry Farms employs Instacart advertising to drive purchase intent for fresh berries. In correlation, we launch consumer engagement promotions via our Giant Berry Perks program and social media advertising focused to further drive brand awareness and demand.

How does California Giant differentiate itself in the industry?

Quality: California Giant emphasizes the quality of its berries. Our grower-partners focus on producing premium quality berries that are fresh, flavorful, and visually appealing.

Sustainability: The company is committed to sustainable practices in berry farming. This commitment includes aforementioned sustainability initiatives.

Customer Service: We work closely with customers to understand their needs, ensuring on-time delivery of high-quality berries, and offering responsive support.

In our ‘Interviews’ series, we work to tell impactful stories by collaborating with leaders in the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.

All pricing for domestic US produce represents the spot market at Shipping Point (i.e. packing house/climate controlled warehouse, etc.). For imported fruit, the pricing data represents the spot market at Port of Entry.

You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 21 commodities we currently track.

Related articles: The growing Republic of Georgia's blueberry sector

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