Berries, fruits, and other crops are in harvest mode and cherries are just one of those products coming to market. 

Cherry picking season continues in the higher elevation areas with later varieties, but the initial crop is looking good. The Washington State Fruit Commission held a meeting with an update on harvest but could not provide a full report due to shipping continuing from now until the end of August. The update did provide a look at the California crop, which has come in strong and put a lot of cherries on the market. 

“It’s been a really weird season,” Northwest Cherries Marketing Specialist Karley Lange said. “Most of the crop came off in a 25-day period from June 25th to July 20th. Usually, in a normal crop, 80% of the crop will come off in about 40 days and the season will last about 90 days. So, that’s where this has been kind of a weird year on top of California having a large crop, it put a ton of fruit out on the market.” 

Shipments thus far are at 17.2 million (20 lb. equivalent) boxes.

2023 Daily Shipment Comparison Chart Courtesy: Karley Lange/NW Cherries
2023 Daily Shipment Comparison Chart
Courtesy: Karley Lange/NW Cherries

Lange also mentioned that the prices have been good, and promoting has gone well helping move the fruit to customers carts. 

When it comes to marketing the fruit, Northwest Cherries puts together demonstrations, displays, contests, and social media engagement. Lange said they want people to be aware the fruit is available, they are still shipping, and promoting the health benefits of the little red fruits. 

“This has been our big marketing push both domestically and foreign,” she remarked. “Just trying to make consumers aware of how good the fruit is and the flavor and the size. Not only is it a great year to start buying cherries but the pricing is really good. Keep buying cherries through the end of August and enjoy them while you can because the season is winding down and we won’t be back until next June!” 

Source: Northwest Cherries & PNW Ag Network

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