There’s too many cherries and the market is unable to handle it

A longer-than-normal cherry season in the Golden State has led to an over-saturated market.

The president of the Northwest Cherry Growers says this has been the most unusual season they have ever experienced.

“We pushed our promotions back to start the last week of June and, you know, there’s a part of me that was wondering would it have made more sense to maybe go a little bit earlier, but if we did, we’d be promoting California cherries. So, it’s really a tough question and kind of a Catch-22. We never did gain that momentum and by the time our program started and by the time our growers got to the market, there just was no space. There was nothing there but a bunch of high-priced California cherries,” said BJ Thulby.

Thulby says he is at his wit’s end. He says they had buyer guests in every week, and they are trying to keep pressure on retailers to keep ads running. He says the situation has left growers in the Northwest having to scramble.

“Very much so. I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s been, for me, the most negative cherry year in my career. You know, we’ve had issues where if a grower didn’t have a specific amount of ten-row and larger fruit in his orchard, or her orchard, you know, these packers have just said there’s no value in picking it because you won’t even get back picking costs.”

He says there is a silver lining, though. Exports to markets in Asia have been good because consumers there love Northwest cherries.

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