Fresh Summit

PMA Fresh Summit Happening Now, Oct. 19-21

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

The Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit brings together produce and floral industry leaders, retail buyers, food safety experts and importers and exporters from around the globe. A thousand exhibitors representing over 60 countries are at the Fresh Summit in New Orleans this week.

Alex Ott

“It’s a great opportunity to continue to meet with consumers and buyers and get the message out about the availability of California produce,” said Alex Ott, executive director of the California Apple Commission, California Blueberry Commission and the California Olive Committee told us about the Summit.

The Buy California Program will be a big part of the Fresh Summit this year, and Ott noted that it has been very positive for California apples and blueberries and olives.

“Getting the message out that California isn’t just Hollywood, but a big agricultural state as well, and we are there representing apples, blueberries and olives.

Regarding the 2017 blueberry crop, Ott noted that harvest went well and prices were good, however the price for processed blueberries were down this year.

“We were running about 10 days behind this year, but overall it was a very comparable year to last year as well. Not all the final numbers are in yet, but the fresh market was very, very good. Processed was not good,” Ott said.

“There was a lot of fruit out there and the processed prices were down significantly. And that had a huge impact on how many blueberries actually went to processing,” he said.

“The other unfortunate incident at the beginning of the year, is a lot of our friends in Georgia and some of the other southeast States, experienced a freeze, which impacted the crop, but on the other hand, was … good movement for California fresh blueberries,” Ott said.