Raspberry Challenges Pt 2

Raspberry Challenges Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Even in the best of years, Washington Red Raspberry growers have a series of hurdles to navigate in order to survive until next season.

According to Washington Red Raspberry Commission executive director, Henry Bierlink, there were roughly 180 growers when he joined the commission 20-years ago, but less than 100 today …

BIERLINK … “It’s stabilized. It’s not down. I’d say it’s up a little from over the 20-years, but in the last 5-years it’s probably trending downward just a touch.”

But those farmers, Bierlink says are a special breed …

BIERLINK … “In one sense they complain a lot, but on the other they keep doing it which shows optimism for the future, so keep it up.”

One of the big problems, Bierlink says is competing with the imports we allow …

BIERLINK … “Even in Lynden here, if you go to the grocery store, you’ll find berries from Mexico and California on the shelf and the fresh, almost everything we do now just goes straight into the freezer because, you know, it’s high-quality berries, but we can’t produce it year round.”

So, Bierlink’s advice for raspberry lovers …

BIERLINK … “Keep buying those frozen berries! We think they’re better. They taste better, they’re better fruit, they’re really, they’re grown for flavor rather than shipability. So, they’re really good!”

While awaiting final harvest numbers, this year’s crop is anticipated to be pretty decent at 68-to70-million pounds.

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