The Wonderful World of Blueberries

It’s berry time, as the annual “Blueberry Season” is either in full swing or fast approaching – depending on where these tasty, small “poppable” berries are now growing across the globe. Fortunately, Prime Fresh Handling (PFH) is geared up to handle any fresh berry shipments to our wholesale/retail customers as well as restaurants, and grocers, and other distributors.

Berry Interesting Factoids

So, what are the top countries for blueberry production? The United States is number one, followed by Canada and Mexico. Next are numerous European countries, Australia and New Zealand, plus Peru and Chile in South America. In the U.S., Michigan, Washington, Oregon, and Maine are the top producing states.

Varieties of blueberries vary sizably. For example, popular Peruvian varieties include Biloxi and Ventura, while top U.S. varieties include Lowbush, Northern Highbush, Southern Highbush, Rabbiteye, and Half-High. The way they’re grown also varies; 17 percent of all blueberries grown in Chile are now organic.

But wherever the berries are grown, whatever their variety, how they’re farmed, and wherever customers need them geographically, PFH has the know-how all along the blueberry supply chain. Our experienced employees are experts at delivering logistical services for handling and shipping delectable fresh fruit and other produce. Just give us the details and we’re ready for action.

Simply put, PFH customers find it berry reassuring to know that our skilled team will get these sweet berries to wherever they need to go quickly, carefully, and safely. (Sorry for these berry bad attempts at humor…)

We have strategically located handling facilities at LAX, JFK, and MIA and a robust network of cold storage warehouses designed to handle temperature-sensitive products. So, it’s never too early to start counting your berries before they’ve popped.

In other words, now is the best time to plan for top-notch logistical, international shipping, and handling services. Then, when those delectable berries are ready for harvest – usually between April and late September in North America, and late fall and winter in South America – you won’t need to worry about how to get them from Point A to Point B quickly and in the very best condition possible. Leave all that to us.

Don’t Settle for Less

There’s absolutely no reason to settle for “Reasonable” or below-quality blueberries. With our expert services, you’ll have the added assurance of knowing that we rely on the eyes of third-party auditors to ensure your berries are unquestionably classified as “Good” every step of the way. This can help avoid rejection by top retailers due to mold and spoilage caused by lapses in the post-harvest, cold-chain process.

PFH cool chain management services rely on a stringent quality control process undertaken by QIMA, a leading provider of supply chain compliance solutions. Simply put, their skilled inspectors become our customers’ watchful eyes as the precious berries move through the international cold supply chain.

QIMA is on-the-ground in 85 countries. Its experts perform on-site inspections, supplier audits, and lab testing with a digital platform that brings accuracy, transparency, and intelligence for quality and compliance data. Inspection of your “blueberries in transit” can take several hours as QIMA samples the product to assign grades to the blueberries.

Auditors look at pallet quality, sample the quality, note the variety of blueberries, cite any major issues, and so on. Then importers decide which quality of product is assigned to each market or customer, based on their requirements. For example, berries with top quality ratings might be assigned to such retailers as COSTCO, Walmart, Sprouts, and other top retailers.

Impulse Berry Buying

The importance of the rating process cannot be understated. Why so? Even in a well-managed produce supply chain, a product like fresh blueberries can present challenges. Blueberries are highly perishable, easily damaged, and often purchased by consumers as an “impulse buy.”

So, the berries’ firmness and appearance are critical in the consumer’s decision to either buy the fresh produce or not. Appearance truly counts if a consumer sees berries on the shelf and is hungry for a snack to consume right now. Or, if the consumer is buying the berries as an addition to their previously prepared shopping list – not as a “must-have” item – the fruit must look fresh and firm.

PFH’s attention to proper quality control offers peace of mind for our customers at every stage of the berries’ journey between farm and store shelf. That means clients won’t get berries that they reject upon delivery, and thus don’t have the supply needed to satisfy their customers.

More Fresh Fruit Tidbits

An added perk is that implementation of quality control processes is contributing in part to an increase in exports of new blueberry varieties, as well as a varietal replacement within the marketplace. But whatever the variety, blueberry demand is on the rise globally. Consumers simply love popping the delicious blueberries into their mouths – and into their favorite recipes – and they’re also valuing the fruit’s antioxidant and immune-boosting qualities.

Of course, PFH handles other “top bananas” in the fruit industry as well – everything from blackberries to raspberries, avocados, subtropical exotic fruits (such as Dragon Fruit), as well as limes, lemons, cherries, and aromatic herbs.

But as the prime blueberry season in South America is now underway and will be gearing up in North America by next spring, be sure to think of Prime Fresh Handling when it’s time to order those “poppable” fresh fruit blueberries for your customers. We’re experienced and ready to roll on the berry front.

Global Perishable Shipping and Logistic Services 

Whether it’s a box, a pallet, or a companywide logistics operation, PFH is highly skilled in achieving safe on-time delivery of temperature-sensitive material and products between any point of origin and destination around the globe.

In fact, PFH is also known as a global leader in fresh produce shipping, fish, cut flowers, and plants. With state-of-the-art facilities in Europe, South American, and across North America, PFH leverages industry-leading technologies such as vacuum cooling, sorting, re-packing, barcoding, labeling, and temperature monitoring to guarantee a consistent, safe, and fresh delivery.

Contact Prime Fresh Handling Information

For information, contact PFH General Manager-West Coast Cristina Moscoso at 323-328-8650, via email at cristina.moscoco@primeair.aero, or explore our website to learn more about our Miami perishable logistics and perishable shipping company! 

Additional Reading:

Why Do Vaccines Need to be Cold? 

Challenges in Seafood Logistics: The Back Story 

Prime Fresh Handling Celebrates Global Produce Shipping Capabilities 

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Prime Fresh Handling clients depend on our international network of coordinated cargo and freight service specialists to operate shipping routes across the globe. Our experienced customer service representatives are available 24/7 to answer your calls and address any perishable shipping and logistics questions you may have promptly and courteously. We are here for you!

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