FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Upward Trend Continues for Family Tree Farms’ Blueberries
(Reedley, CA) – February 19, 2014 – In their third year of production on their Mexico blueberry ranch, Family Tree Farms is expecting yields right in line with their long range growth projection. They expect their 2014 harvest to be triple their 2013 volume. "And, we’re anticipating that next year, 2015, will be the year of greatest growth for us, percentage-wise," stated Don Goforth, Director of Sales and Marketing for Family Tree Farms. "We’re putting programs in place right now, with this year’s relatively high output, to showcase what is down the road in terms of both volume and quality." Goforth added that the company plans to complete the final phase of plantings this fall and that they expect to reach full production by 2018. All of their Mexico-grown blueberries are packed and pre-cooled at their on-site facility.
David Jackson, founder and President of Family Tree Farms, is quick to point out that their expansion into Mexico was made possible by the success of their California blueberry program: "We were known for our stone fruit so we knew we had to do something extra special to make our blueberries stand out from the crowd. We have great-tasting varieties and we’ve developed cultural practices to consistently deliver that flavor to the consumer." Jackson further explained that their California growing location allows them to harvest well before the bulk of the west coast crop. "Mexico starts in mid-February, dovetails right into our California production and allows us to provide fresh product to our partners during a low point in worldwide production levels" said Jackson. Even though their Mexican berries do run up against the end of the South American supply, Jackson and Goforth are confident that their blueberries will win that quality battle. As Jackson put it, "Our berries are reaching the U.S. border two days after harvest and you just can’t match that freshness with something that has been on a boat for a week or more."
Jackson explained that another key benefit of expanding to Mexico was the ability to plant proprietary varieties that are not available in the U.S. Family Tree Farms has obtained the exclusive growing rights for both North and South America to an entire line of blueberry varieties which they’ve named Blue Bell. In describing their Blue Bell blueberries, Jackson proclaimed, "Before planting in Mexico, I traveled all over the world visiting breeders and tasting berries. When I tasted these from a farm in Australia, I knew immediately that I had found the blueberries of my dreams. They have an explosion of pure blueberry flavor."
Goforth added that the Blue Bell varieties tend to grow larger berries which will allow them to expand their "Family Tree Farms Jumbo" label program exponentially for the next several years. Family Tree Farms is unique in that all of their blueberries are from their own ranches, giving them full control of the entire farming and packing process. All of their berries are marketed throughout North America, Asia and select other world markets.
David Jackson with Family Tree Farms’ blueberries in Mexico