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California strawberry pricing could stay firm until after Mother’s Day

Supplies of strawberries in California are picking up at a good pace. “The weather has turned, and it’s good because we’re getting the traditional warm sunny days and cool fog, which are ideal growing conditions. Right now, everything is looking good,” says Jim Grabowski of Well Pict.

The bulk of strawberries are currently coming out of Oxnard, California, and he says Well Pict picked more last week than any other previous week, so volume is increasing exponentially. Santa Maria has just started with some light picking as well. “They’re probably a couple of weeks away before they’re hitting any kind of noticeable volume. Everything was backed up from all the rains and cool weather that had been there, so they’re late by probably two to three weeks,” says Grabowski.  

At the same time, demand is still good. “There weren’t many berries before Easter to promote, and there are not a lot of other summer fruits to promote right now, so demand is still good,” he says. In turn, that’s helping keep the price at a fairly good level. “The price hasn’t fallen as we thought. After Easter, the price comes down when the volume goes up normally.”

Good supplies for Mother’s Day
Looking ahead to Mother’s Day, a popular berry consumption day, on May 14, Grabowski says supplies will be good. “Oxnard will probably carry the brunt of the supplies for Mother’s Day. By that time, we’re hoping Santa Maria will be contributing some. So if anyone is pulling for Mother’s Day, they’ll pull the week before that more or less,” he says, adding that after the Mother’s Day pull is when pricing might start coming down.

In the meantime, next week, Well Pict will exhibit at CPMA Toronto 2023, April 25-27, at booth # 1011, where it will have its proprietary conventional and organic berries on display. “We’re hoping to reconnect with our trading partners in Canada,” he says. “We do have a very strong business in Canada, primarily in the East and Central part of Canada, and hopefully, we’ll pick up some Western Canadian business, too.”

For more information:
Jim Grabowski
Well Pict Berries
Tel.: +1 (708) 227-1222