June is here and in the Northwest that means excitement surrounding the start of cherry and blueberry season.
“We have a very strong continuous program of Organic Blueberries and Cherries from a group of premium growers in various micro-climates throughout the NW” stated Ben Johnson, President of Bridges Produce BB #:168499.
He continues “this will provide us with top quality fruit from the very start of the season through to the very end of the season on both blueberries and cherries.”
Bridges’ cherry supply will begin this week with blueberries starting early next week. There will be strong availability on blueberries lasting until late September with peak availability late June through July.
This year Bridges is working with a new grower partner to extend their Dark Sweet cherry season an additional month, giving them a season that lasts from early June through mid-August.
Beautiful golden yellow Rainier cherries will also be available through Mid-July.
There will be shortages in the beginning of this year’s NW cherry season, “It was a heavy frost year, so early dark sweet cherries will be in very short supply but we expect promotional numbers on the Rainiers leading up to the Fourth of July and the later reds are looking great” says category lead Michael McMillian
“These growers are primarily packing in their own labels to maintain their unique identity in the market and to garner recognition for their premium quality fruit. We will also have a Bridges label blueberry to give us additional flexibility for growers,” said Ben Johnson.
“We are excited about the development of a Bridges label for 4.4oz, 6oz, Pint and 18oz blueberry clamshells” says Sydney Fairchild marketing for Bridges Produce.
She continues “This is the first time we have branded any berries under the Bridges label and by doing so we are able to continue to grow and evolve the program by partnering with farms who do not have their own label. The new packing is clean and simple, ensuring the customer is able to easily see the beautiful fruit that we pride ourselves on.”
“For our Northwest grower partners, it is all about the customer eating experience, and you can taste the difference. NW blueberries turn blue long before they are ready to eat, our partners wait to pick the fruit, continuing to test the Brix to ensure the berries are fully mature and very flavorful. They also achieve this excellent eating quality by heavily pruning the bushes which yields large fruit size,” says Michael McMillian.
Mark Lapierre one of Bridges NW partners who packs both blueberries and cherries into their own label spoke about the upcoming season, “2020 is a completely unusual year, we are looking forward to cherries and blueberries. It will feel like the first normal thing we have done all year.”
While the upcoming harvest is bringing a sense of normality to the growers it is certainly not a normal season when it comes to safety and health precautions. Bridges partners are implementing new sanitation and social distancing protocols due to Covid-19 both in the fields and in the packinghouses.
With the current situation, we anticipate a great opportunity to celebrate the transition to summer as well as touting the health benefits of these superfoods. Cherries and blueberries are not only delicious but are a high fiber food that are low in calories, full of antioxidants, and full of vitamin C. They are also known for being anti-inflammatory, can help protect against and fight diabetes and are commonly consumed by athletes to aid in workout recovery.
For more information about Bridges upcoming organic blueberry and cherry program please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-235-7333
Contact: Sydney Fairchild
Marketing & Compliance