The New England Produce Council (NEPC) reported record attendance at a dinner meeting held at Fenway Park in Boston. The event was sponsored by Sunny Valley International Inc., a supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables to the North American market since 1986.
Special event speakers included representatives of South Carolina and New Jersey peach growers who discussed the upcoming peach crop. Bonnie Lundblad, a sales representative at Sunny Valley International Inc., said New Jersey peaches will be picked around July 1, and the season will continue until about Sept. 15. She said Sunny Valley is able to ship peaches from the onset of the South Carolina season and continue with no interruption until the end of New Jersey crop.
Chad Truesdale, South Carolina Department of AG commodities coordinator, said the crops are progressing nicely with early shipments almost ready to start.
Hugh Weathers, South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, said that the South Carolina growers value the support of the New England markets and look forward to another successful year.
Matt Forrest, Dixie Belle Farms, noted that the Dixie Belle peaches will be ready to start picking around May 18. He said some cold weather this winter had a small impact on the first varieties “but, once we get into the second week of June, there will be good volumes of sweet juicy peaches ready for promotions.”
Tom Beaver, New Jersey Department of Agriculture director of marketing, expressed the New Jersey grower’s appreciation and support of New England Produce industry.
According to NEPC President Anthony Sattler, “The New England Produce Council, Sunny Valley and Fenway Park have a long-standing relationship. It was a great event, and thank you to Sunny Valley for their continued support.”
NEPC also announced its Produce, Floral and Food Service Expo will be held Aug. 22-23 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.