Superfresh Growers® Introduces Organic Blueberries to its Lineup
YAKIMA, WA - It makes sense to me that when you think of Superfresh Growers®—apples, pears, and cherries come to mind...but blueberries? You bet. The company is always in constant evolution and with this latest move, the team is breaking into the berry category and just in time for the upcoming Organic Produce Summit in Monterey, California.
“We are pumped to be showcasing our newest addition: organic blueberries,” Catherine Gipe-Stewart, Communications Manager, shares with me as we look to July. “The season is just getting started and will be in full swing during OPS!”
So, how did this new development come about? Superfresh Growers® and Norris Farms® have joined forces to deliver customers around the world a premium organic and conventional blueberry program.
“Our blueberries are grown in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua River valley where harvest begins in early to mid-June and extends to October,” Catherine says. “The Umpqua River Valley is known for its warm sunny days and evenings cooled by coastal breezes which makes it an ideal climate for quality blueberry production. This results in low summer humidity, which reduces the risk of condition and quality problems, and extends the harvest season.”
Superfresh Growers will also be featuring its organic Rainier and organic Dark Sweet cherries—so, do not fret, the company’s staples will be showcased as well.
It is easy to see that the vision and mission for the team’s organic segment of the business is well strategized and supported. SuperfreshOrganics™ naturally fits into the company’s orchard and growing system, and the team is pleased to offer Northwest grown organics nearly year-round.
“We cultivate our orchards to be a bio-diverse system that works in synchronization with nature. One of our most important tools for delivering fresh organic fruit is Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to manage harmful pests. Using IPM protocols, we ensure beneficial insects, such as honey bees, ladybugs, and spiders, have a rich environment to flourish and nurture our orchard environment. Superfresh growing practices allows us to cultivate fruit that our consumers can enjoy for generations to come,” Catherine continues.
She adds that on a fun nerdy note, she just ran across some of the information about Superfresh’s ladybugs that the team releases into their orchards to eat the aphids and keep pest populations down: Ladybugs favor aphids as their food source, but also feed on many small, soft-bodied insects. Ladybugs devour many times their own weight. Ladybugs will not feed on any vegetation, only on leaf chewing or sap-sucking pest insects. They have few enemies due to their hard shell and bitter taste, which is their protection against other insects and birds.
“Organic demand continues to grow. We noticed April experienced growth year-over-year in organics, likely due to Earth Day promotions. Organic apples were up in both dollars, at plus-8.6 percent and pounds, at plus-8.7 percent,” Catherine tells me.
Superfresh has been attending OPS since the first year in 2016 and is continually impressed by how much networking and information is artfully planned in just two days.
“The conversation and energy at OPS is unique to produce shows in how much passion there is for organics,” Catherine wraps up. “You can feel the excitement at the event and on the show floor.”
And I believe, that excitement is already here!