Buy Local Raspberries Pt 2

Buy Local Raspberries Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. If we knew more, we’d buy more. That’s the message many American growers are trying to get through to consumers who might buy more U.S.-grown products if they knew more.

Washington Red Raspberry Commission director Henry Bierlink says his growers work primarily in the processed, juice or frozen market, but even there, U.S. quality is just better …

BIERLINK … “That’s very true, I mean I’m not saying their crop isn’t good, but on the whole, for one we know that a lot of what we’re competing with is a byproduct from the fresh which means that it’s something that didn’t make grade there in the fresh raspberries, particularly in Mexico.”

And, he says people may even buy both domestic and imported to save a little money …

BIERLINK … “We know it’s not the quality we have. In fact, many of them probably buy some of that and then buy some of ours and then blend it just to kind of upgrade the end product, but it’s just really hard for us to compete with those kind of numbers.”

And of course, Bierlink says the trade pacts could be improved …

BIERLINK … “We’re certainly talking to our elected officials and everything about how trade laws are put together and labeling laws is a big issue so customers can at least see where they’re buying things?”

And, when it comes to labeling?

BIERLINK … “When you go to the grocery store, can you really determine whether or not it’s from this area or not. Labeling is not as effective as we’d like it to be.”

Bierlink is optimistic progress can be made in trade talks, but says there are no guarantees.

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