Homegrown Organic Farms' Cherie France Divulges Citrus and Blueberry Insights
PORTERVILLE, CA - From a Navel orange in the consumer’s palm to a blueberry between their fingertips, the fresh fruit sector is a never-ending adventure. Homegrown Organic Farms is a great example of this diversity, bringing multiple categories into the fold of its expertise. As the grower’s citrus season continues and its domestic blueberry program readies for launch, I had the chance to sit down with Cherie France, Marketing Manager.
“At this time, we are about 50 percent through our citrus season, and quality is outstanding as are flavor profiles. It has been a banner year in terms of volume, quality, and flavor,” she began. “We offer our citrus programs every month of the year as we have domestically grown citrus offerings.”
Cherie explained that retailers should keep product on a fast turn, mind the cold chain, and place it in desirable locations within the produce department. Also, she noted the importance of remaining cognizant and strategic when setting retail price, especially when compared to conventional pricing.
Last time I talked with Cherie, we discussed Homegrown’s newly launched import blueberry program, which ended in February. Even though the industry faced challenges surrounding imports last year, she told me that it was an excellent inaugural year for the program.
In addition to the Fair Trade Chilean blueberry program, Homegrown also boasts of a strong domestic program.
“We plan to begin harvest in mid to late April in the San Joaquin Valley of California, with the peak being May 1 and on,” Cherie said. “We are seeing a heavy set with ideal bloom temperatures. Between this and planned growth, we are expecting 10–15 percent more volume this year versus last year out of California.”
Be sure to consider Cherie’s insightful suggestions as you look to continue expanding sales in the produce aisle. And, as the pages of our fresh produce calendar continue to turn, keep reading us here at AndNowUKnow.