Gerawan Farming, the nation’s largest grower of peaches, plums and nectarines, signs on as exhibitor and sponsor of the 2012 Fresno Food Expo
San Joaquin Valley regional food show sets platform for economic growth in food industry
The Fresno Food Expo has found a promising niche in hosting a regional food show. Not only has it helped the small, start‐up food producers looking to meet large retail buyers and foodservice distributors, but it also has an unparalleled appeal to some of the San Joaquin Valley’s largest and most well‐known food companies. Gerawan Farming, the largest grower of peaches, plums and nectarines, are not only a first time exhibitor at the 2012 Fresno Food Expo, but they are also a Major Sponsor.
“We love to tell our story and supporting the local community is important to us,” said Denver Schutz, Technical Services Manager, Gerawan Farming. “As a regional food show, the Fresno Food Expo provides us with the unique opportunity to meet and talk with people from the community – making new connections with companies and consumers, letting them know who Gerawan Farming is and what we do. Building these new relationships within our community will help us to continue to grow our business. The draw of a regional food show showcasing a large variety of products brings in a wide array of buyers and allows us to interact with buyers we may have not had the opportunity to meet before.”
Gerawan Farming – Still a Family Farm at Heart
Family‐owned and operated since 1938, Gerawan Farming is the nation’s largest grower of peaches, plums and nectarines. Despite its size, Gerawan Farming still remains a family farm at heart, passionate about quality and committed to customer satisfaction. Continuing the farming tradition started by his parents, Ray Gerawan got his sons, Mike and Dan, working on the farm from a young age. Now, Ray, Mike and Dan all work together to operate this family business – farming over 10,000 acres of peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and table grapes.
Gerawan Farming achieves their famously juicy, blemish‐free peaches and large, sweet grapes through Ray's focused farming practices, Dan's passion for quality control and Mike's zero tolerance for less‐than‐perfect fruit. Gerawan Farming only packs fruit grown from trees they planted and cared for, allowing them to achieve superior quality on an vast scale and making their Prima® brand known internationally for its quality and consistency. To achieve the best possible flavor and color, Gerawan Farming developed their own exclusive varieties of Prima® brand fruit.
While most shippers sell fruit from dozens of different growers making consistency hard to come by, Gerawan Farming is one grower, packing up to 100,000 boxes a day. Purchasers know that in every shipment, the variety and size they order will be consistent and is coming from the same grower and ranch they can depend on.
Achieving Sweeter & Juicier Fruit, Blemish‐Free
While most growers strip harvest their orchards in just two to three picks in order to reduce costs, Gerawan Farming picks their orchards eight to ten times, carefully selecting the fruit that is at its peak maturity and flavor. Peaches, nectarines and apricots are harvested into small, protective buckets rather than the 1,000‐ pound bulk bins to avoid becoming bruised or blemished. Additionally, the fruit is harvested and packed on the same day in order to avoid temperature fluctuation that can lead to undesirable, mealy texture. Each piece of fruit is hand‐packed by experienced employees who ensure the quality of each box by affixing their photo to it as their seal of approval.
Grapes So Sweet, They Get Fan Mail
No joke. Hundreds of letters are received at Gerawan Farming each year from people raving about Prima’s® incredible sweetness! That sweetness is achieved by harvest late in the season, when grapes have much higher sugar content than industry standards. Many growers harvest early in the season to gain marketing advantage; however, Gerawan Farming is focused on leaving their grapes in the vine for as long as possible to develop the mature flavor and finish that has earned the grapes their own fan club!
When it’s time to harvest, Gerawan Farming’s proprietary packing trailers come directly to the vineyards where every bunch is carefully trimmed by the industry’s best‐trained, highest‐paid employees. Then the grapes are separated by bunch size, berry size and color into twelve different boxes – providing the highest level of consistency. Grapes are then transported in refrigerated vans directly from the field to the company’s state‐of‐the‐art cooling system. From extreme post‐harvest care to special packaging, Gerawan Farming goes to great lengths to keep their grapes protected, resulting in green, fresh stems as late as Christmas.
Superior Packaging for Stellar Sales
Gerawan Farming’s preferred pack style is single‐layer Euro boxes for a variety of reasons – all tying back to providing the best product for consumers. The single‐layer Euro boxes allow fast, efficient cooling, essential for proper temperature management as fruit must be quickly cooled to stop respiration and prevent it from becoming overly soft. Two‐layer and volume‐filled boxes don’t provide enough airflow, causing uneven ripening and giving the heat generated during respiration nowhere to escape; single‐layer boxes don’t have this problem. The single‐layer Euro boxes are also well‐suited to tray‐pack, which reduces bruising and enables packers to carry a more mature, juicy, flavorful fruit while minimizing shrink. All Gerawan Farming tray‐packed fruit has a 90%+ PLU coverage rate with all on top and oriented in the same direction to create a beautiful, uniform display in stores. Additionally, the single‐layer boxes are more cost efficient, offering a superior fruit‐ to‐packaging ratio that ensures each shipment contains more fruit. And since single‐layer Euro boxes are 47% stronger than two‐layer boxes, they remain sturdy and protective while supporting the weight that’s often stacked on top at the warehouse. Strength, efficiency, cost and display capabilities – these are the reasons that single‐layer Euro boxes are the preferred choice of Gerawan Farming.
About the Fresno Food Expo:
The Fresno Food Expo ‐ to be held on March, 8, 2012, in Fresno, California ‐ is a unique regional food show developed as part of the City of Fresno’s economic development strategy focused on growing locally‐owned businesses. In one convenient location buyers will discover more than 100 exhibitors ranging from food growers and producers to winemakers and brewers headquartered in the San Joaquin Valley; the only regional food show of its type! Buyers will get to meet with knowledgeable producers of fresh produce, specialty crops, meats, cheeses, sauces, olive oils, jams, nuts, wine, beer, baked goods and more. It will also provide buyers an exclusive opportunity to learn about local sourcing solutions, innovative new products and a chance to see a region that is home to the world’s leading food producing industry. With everything the San Joaquin Valley has to offer, the Fresno Food Expo is about creating a true first‐class buying experience. For more information please visit www.fresnofoodexpo.com.
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