In our third installment looking at the California and Pacific Northwest’s cherry season, the seasonal crop is looking great, but not record breaking, for many growers. Revisions to early estimations have dropped the expected cartons harvested down to 22.4 million 20-lb boxes from an early expectation of 23.8 million 20-lb boxes. Also as expected, early cold snaps did impede the harvest, but most growers agree that the crop damage was limited to smaller, weaker fruit and by clearing that off the branch, bigger, sweeter cherries are well spread out for a great crop.
One early issue in 2021 that we haven’t touched on is the fraudulent story on Chinese social media that claimed cherries imported from Chile were surface infected by the virus. Though the hoax was uncovered quickly, the initial report had reached more than 2.5 billion people which caused cherry purchases to sink and prices to plummet. The story correction helped get the sales back on track, but prices haven’t yet recovered.
To fight back against the misinformation cherries are having a huge marketing push extolling the health benefits in sweet cherries. Rainier cherries are especially popular this year as they enjoy a boost from young buyers interested in both the health benefits and fashionability of this particular fruit. The instagram worthy inclusion of cherries are expected to work in tandem with the marketing push to get cherries into the hands of as many buyers as possible. The harvest expectations will ensure that everyone who wants to add cherries to their diets will have plenty to peruse in their local grocery stores around the world.
This year, cherries are going to be flying out of orchards as fast as they can be packed – and CFI is ready to get your fruit to every table in the world. Our unique cool-chain capabilities and relationships with carriers will ensure you spend as little time as possible waiting for shipping. Tarmac time, container time, all waiting time will shave life off your cherries this season and the competition there will be enough demand and supply to ensure people are getting the best options. Get your fruit ahead of the demand as freshly as possible. Trust CFI and we’ll get your cherries covered!