Natureripe Farms is a brand most Americans have seen in the supermarket. What many may not realize is that the company is actually owned by growers. California Ag Today’s Patrick Cavanaugh recently spoke to Jill Overdorf, who is Natureripe’s Director of Business Development for Food Service & their Corporate Chef.
Overdorf..”Natureripe is owned by four cooperatives of growers founded in 1917 by Natureripe Berry Growers and then we were joined, first by Michigan Berry Growers, then Munger Farms, and then Hortifrut. And so we have four groups of farmers who we work as a sales and marketing team, and I work for the farmers directly.”
Overdorff says Natureripe is the leading grower of blueberries in the world, second in strawberries, and also produce raspberries, blackberries, avocados, and cranberries.
Overdorf..”Our strawberry growers had a very challenging year, but they developed some great crops. We also have a good breeding program. Our blueberry growers, the Mungers, are the largest growers of blueberries in California. They had a phenomenal year, and they are branching out and are enormously innovative. They're leading our value added program with their proprietary wash process, which enables 21 days on a fresh blueberry shelf life for a snack product. Our blackberries and raspberries, we have a number of proprietary varieties, including the Centennial Raspberry and the Madeline Blackberry, both flavorful and non traditional berries because of their load seed count and they're delicious flavor.”