Cherry Challenges Pt 2

Cherry Challenges Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. With cherry harvest wrapped up here in the Northwest, growers can look back and assess their season in what has been, in spite of the many challenges, what looks to be a pretty good year.

Northwest Cherry Growers’ president, BJ Thurlby says one of the challenges they adapted to pretty well, with buying habits changing since COVID began, was in their cherry promotions …

THURLBY-5 = 13 … “The month of June alone in the United States had 7-billion dollars’ worth of online grocery sales. So, the fact that we shifted and actually put our extra dollars into online-type promotions had a big impact.”

Online promotions, Thurlby says were a game changer this year …

THURLBY-6 = 25 … “With all the restaurants closed, you had more people going into supermarkets and we have a 25% increase in people shopping and buying all their meals at grocery. And so, the cherry growers, actually, were in a pretty good position because we have a healthy product, we promote it very heavily as high in anthocyanins, high in anti-inflammatory properties, and it just worked out really well for us.”

Overall, given the circumstances we’re all living with, Thurlby says everything just kind of fell into place for cherries …

THURLBY 13 … “You know, the cherries ate well, the growers did their part, and overall, I think this is going to turn out to end up actually being the best year probably we’ve had in the last three or four.”

Thurlby says it’s been a year when many of us are going without a lot of things thanks to the pandemic, but cherries were one of those things we could still enjoy.

Tune in tomorrow for more.


BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us as always is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, we’re dealing with wildfires in the west and any impact on fruit?

AW: scientists have been evaluating food safety from wildfire impacted areas after the 2017 wildfires in fruit regions, with wine grapes being the most impacted.

BL: And, Oregon State University has an online food safety and wildfire resource with links for the food industry, worker health and consumer safety.

AW: Food safety studies show that washing produce mitigates most of the impact of wildfire contamination. If it still looks questionable, follow the slogan “if in doubt, throw it out”.

BL: And, for worker safety, COVID-19 mask and hand washing requirements are even more important as they protect from smoke inhalation and reducing fire containments on people and fruit.

AW: Two of my colleagues at the Valent Group Companies lost their home last week to a wildfire. Please reach out to friends and family. For those near a fire, have a plan and ask for assistance. Please be safe out there.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

Previous ReportCherry Challenges Pt 1
Next ReportCherry Challenges Pt 3