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Naturipe sees strong season ahead for California strawberries

Naturipe Farms, based in Salinas, CA, utilizes growers in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the United States, with major production in California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

But California remains the company’s most vital area for strawberry production.

Naturipe StrawberryField Still1 “Naturipe is one of the original California strawberry grower-shippers and have been farming for over 100 years,” said Jerry Moran, Naturipe’s senior sales director — strawberries. “We farm in Oxnard, Santa Maria, and Watsonville/Salinas. We have both conventional and organic production and we produce year-round in California with our peak of production from the spring through the fall with lighter supplies in the winter.”

Having been doing this for so long, the company prides itself on a philosophy and strategy that is aimed at doing what’s best for its customers and making the changes necessary to offer them the best strawberries around.

“You have to adapt with the season and the ever-evolving conditions,” Moran said. “As new regulations are implemented, it is becoming more difficult to produce at a sustainable rate. The more efficient you can be in all sides of the operation from planting, harvesting, cooling and shipping, will be factors of your success.”

With the California strawberry season about to begin, the crops so far have looked outstanding and Naturipe is very happy with projections for the year ahead.

“The weather has made the plants look as healthy as ever,” Moran said. “We have had good rainfall and cool temperatures, which are both helping with plant health. We expect to have some very good production coming from California very soon. The weather has recently started to turn into a more normal spring and should allow for us to start increasing volume.”

Because of that, the company looks forward to having a good volume in April and throughout the spring and summer and achieve an overall great strawberry season in California.

Although the strawberries are always big sellers, Moran does have some suggestions on how retailers could improve on sales and grow the category even further.

“In order to maximize sales, retailers should look to be carrying more two-pound packs this year,” Moran said. “The freight efficiencies of having 160 trays per pallet on these high-volume packs make it an instant savings at the store level. Also, carrying multiple pack sizes at retail has been proven to help with growing the already high demand category.”