It gives me great pleasure to give you a sneak peak into this year’s harvest conditions and the state of the cranberry and wild blueberry market, which as you know, are our golden fruits.
Let’s talk cranberry first
Despite last year’s good Canadian crop and plentiful one in the U.S. (second best harvest of all), inventory levels for dried fruit decreased considerably, due to the American volume regulation. Inventories are composed primarily of juice concentrate. It is notable that a few processors had to cease their fruit drying operations.
All in all, Fruit d’Or’s situation is different. We weren’t impacted by the American volume regulation and we vastly expanded our organic fruit supply. Until last fall, as some of you may have experienced, the demand by our clients for organic fruit was higher than our fruit supply. Since the last harvest, this situation is thing of the past and we happily are reporting here we now have an abundant supply of organic cranberries setting the stage for both meeting our growth objectives while still focusing on serving our clients in the best way.
As per mid-August, the fruit set and yield projections are very good. Due to very cold and rainy weather in Spring, the season is eight to ten days late. The matter of fruit fattening is still pending and the crop should be delayed a little.
Thanks to the support of our agronomists serving our grower base, we were able to adapt their farming practices to these exceptional weather conditions and we expect our fruits to be as robustly colored as always.
Impact on pricing for cranberries
Historically, the price ratio between organic and conventional fruit used to be quite high. We now expect a more balanced one which will make organic cranberry an attractive ingredient for most organic processors or packers.
Year after year, we have continually elevated aggressive objectives for fruit volume and quality: To that goal, Fruit d’Or leadership has both increased our acreage and production capacity. Note that internally, we also have a major initiative to improve our Customer Service as well!
For all the reasons mentioned above, we have formally revised our pricing list in order to coincide with the upcoming Seasonal Procurement period that will start shortly. And as such, it is the perfect time to promote this little fruit, whose popularity among consumers continues to grow!
The Blueberry crop Yield does NOT parallel the abundance of the Cranberry Crop this year.
In fact, the weather has played trick on us for a second consecutive year. The cold weather and late frost are absolutely impacting the yields. The latest crop guestimates for various North American wild blueberry growing regions, (as gathered by our Wild Blueberry Association), will be considerably lower than expected. Quebec and New Brunswick are the two bright spots this year but still not a bumper crop.
To recap : this year’s projection of 245 M lbs is being challenged as we are moving more and more into the crop. Marginally better than last year’s poor overall crop, and definitely lower than the other three years which averaged 305 Million pounds.
The Wild Blueberry crop is just now ready for harvest, running a few days later than normal. The first fruits are a bit small but we’ll know more about the crop’s quality very soon.
On behalf of the Fruit d’Or team and myself, enjoy those last days of summer!
Vice-president, Sales & Marketing at Fruit d’Or
It’s the simple everyday things that make our berries so tender, tasty, healthy and give them the perfect texture. Each parcel of land we farm with care and respect. Each weed we pull by hand. Each extra day we wait to ensure crops are harvested at peak ripeness. Each minute saved between field and freezer. Each berry perfectly preserved. Each unwanted substance detected and eliminated. And each delicious bite our customers enjoy.