CULTIVATION, STORAGE & PACKAGING

Blackberry drupelets are attached to core tissue that makes them less tender than raspberries. The lack of a protective peel or rind still means they can lose water and respire quickly, so low storage and cooling temperatures near 32°F are necessary.

Shelf life is 7 to 14 days under optimal conditions but can be as little as 2 days if allowed to warm up after harvest. Blackberries can be held in clamshells from a half-pint to 1 quart sizes, with boxes allowing adequate space to prevent pressure on drupelets and cause juice loss. As with raspberries, clamshells should be vented on sides and top to allow for movement of forced air, and placed in master cartons to avoid damage during shipment.

GOOD ARRIVAL GUIDELINES

Generally speaking, the percentage of defects shown on a timely government inspection certificate should not exceed the percentage of allowable defects, provided: (1) transportation conditions were normal; (2) the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection was timely; and (3) the entire lot was inspected.

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
10-5-1 5
4
3
2
1
15-8-3
14-8-3
13-7-2
11-6-1
10-5-1
31-32

There are no good arrival guidelines for this commodity specific to Canada; U.S. guidelines apply to shipments unless otherwise agreed by contract.

References: DRC, PACA, USDA.

BLACKBERRIES: WEEKLY MOVEMENT & PRICES, USA

Weekly Movements and Prices, USA

Source: Chart by Gallo Torrez Agricultural Price Trends (GTAPT), mgallo@markfinstrat.com, compiled from USDA data.

References: Cornell University Cooperation Extension, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, USDA.

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