Brian Deese Details Wish Farms’ Blueberry Harvest

Brian Deese Details Wish Farms’ Blueberry Harvest

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PLANT CITY, FL - Take a handful of blues to make your day full of bliss is the motto I live by, and Brian Deese is more than on board with this sentiment. As Wish Farms continues its blueberry harvest from the East to West Coast, I got in touch with the Director of Blueberry Grower Relations to get a read on the market.

Brian Deese, Director of Blueberry Grower Relations, Wish Farms“Right now, our North Florida harvest is starting to come in at its peak. We’ve been hard at it right after Easter, and we’re currently working to get our organic supplies off the coast,” Brian tells me. “The quality has been excellent this year—some of the best quality we’ve seen in a few years. Our South Florida region is kind of on the decline, but the guys in North Florida are picking up the pace. We also started picking and packing in South Georgia as well.”

Currently, the grower is picking off the first berry of each cluster that is ripe, which signals the rest of the fruit to start getting ripe.

Wish Farms is seeing great quality across its blueberry harvests in Florida and Georgia and anticipates the same for its California crops as well

And with favorable weather on the East Coast, quality is as good as ever.

“We haven't had any kind of retail issues as far as quality goes; they seem to be satisfied with the quality coming out of Florida,” continues Brian. “So far, we’ve been able to maintain good pricing all the way through a recent plateau for the peak, but it’s been good. And with our start in California’s Central Valley anticipated on May 1, we are moving into promotional volume.”

The grower is moving toward promotional volume as Wish Farms begins its California production with blueberry pricing remaining around the same as last year

Currently, Wish Farms is picking off a few leader berries for its California crops. As Brian puts it, growers are happy with where the pricing is at now. We will see pricing fall a tad in the next couple of weeks as Florida, Georgia, and Mexico ramp up in volume, resembling prices similar to what the market was like last year.

Out of Georgia, however, I was curious to hear more about the grower’s jumbo variety.

Wish Farms’ jumbo varieties coincides with the start of each region, so retailers can expect these big blue beauties available out of Georgia soon

“Once we get into the Georgia window, there are definitely some jumbos coming out onto the market. The jumbo coincides with the start of each region because you have larger berries,” explains Brian. “We may have a slight disruption in Georgia thanks to the late freeze we had in March, but we could see our production window extend with some late season Rabbiteyes. However, our California supply will easily supplement supplies, and we will see a more stable market.”

With Mother’s Day coming around the bend, Brian assures me that the grower will have plenty of volume for holiday promotions, making next month a berry good time to celebrate.

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