Raspberry Growers Set Record
ERIC CHURCH 7 sec ... "Having a record year ... fades ..."
Washington Red Raspberry Commission Executive Director Henry Bierlink says the weather played a major role ...
HENRY BIERLINK ... "Weather is certainly always a big factor in raspberry production because they're a very finicky crop and don't like extreme weathers or rain or all those types of things can have a very hindering impact and this year we didn't get any of the negative weather."
Bierlink says the area around Lynden is a major player in raspberry production along with the leader, California ...
HENRY BIERLINK ... "They are by far and away the leading raspberry producer in the nation ... BUT, 95, 99% of their berries go into the fresh market. They can grow year-round and have fresh berries on the supermarket shelves every day of the year. That's not true up here. 99.9% of our raspberries are going into the freezer within minutes of coming out of the field. We are picking for the process freezer market and, in that case, we are by far the dominant place in the nation."
This record year produced 78.2 million pounds of raspberries, besting the record of 72.4 million two years ago.
All 96 of the raspberry commission growers are in Western Washington, 78 in Whatcom County.