Nov 28, 2018California Giant expands raspberry program
California Giant Berry Farms has significantly expanded its raspberry program in Mexico in the last year, providing year-round availability of the raspberries while strengthening its four-berry program for strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
California Giant Director of Retail Sales Nick Chappell recently visited the company’s Central Mexico operations covering more than 1,300 miles of ground to meet the growers.
“This expanding raspberry program has been pivotal for us,” Chappell said in a news release. “Our raspberry operations in Mexico are both advanced and progressive, and ultimately, the gap we once had in the winter months where our raspberry supply had fallen short has now been filled. We look forward to offering year-round availability of all four berries and offering a smooth transition from our Mexico season all the way through the start of our California season.”
California Giant is also touting its raspberry variety, the Adelita, which is bred from the bred from Planasa, as being competitive with other raspberries in the market.
The company also kicked off their newly implemented winter cross-docking collaboration earlier this month with a vegetable packer, Mann Packing in Yuma, Arizona. California Giant customers can now load their vegetable and berry orders while in the desert. Cross-docking refers a logistics practice of distributing goods between trucks with little-to-no storage or handling time.
“The duration of the Yuma season typically runs from late November through mid-March – during this timeframe we can approximate cross-docking 15,000-20,000 cartons of fruit per week, resulting in a much more efficient consolidation process,” said California Giant Director of Foodservice Tom Smith. “Customers can reduce the number of stops on their trucks, therefore reducing time on the road and adding shelf life to the berries when they arrive to the consumer. We plan to return to the Salinas Valley in Spring 2019 to further this partnership as we continue to service our customers.”
California Giant reported a much needed rainfall swept California last week and brought the Salinas-Watsonville season to an end. Berry volume remains strong and steady for California Giant as Mexico, Florida and South America contribute to the fall-winter months with an abundance of fresh, quality berries.