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Salinas, CA-based Colorful Harvest LLC won the blue ribbon for its flat of "Green Giant" brand fresh strawberries at the 2009 Florida Strawberry Festival held Feb. 26 to March 8 in Plant City, FL.

Colorful Harvest's strawberries were judged to be the best from among a field of 12 Florida strawberry growers based on the criteria of taste, uniformity, size, shape and color.

Doug Ranno, chief operating officer of Colorful Harvest, said that winning the blue ribbon is just more evidence that the company is a major player in the berry realm.

"Exposure is directly related to your operation," Mr. Ranno said. "To be recognized is a great thing."

Colorful Harvest is "getting known for being a berry company" with a "diversified regional supply," Mr. Ranno added.

This was Colorful Harvest's second year entering the Florida Strawberry Festival competition. The festival -- launched in 1930 -- is one of the larger festivals of its kind in the world.

Mr. Ranno credited Rodney Hutto and his crew at Colorful Harvest's Trapnell Road farm in Plant City for producing top-quality strawberries.

Colorful Harvest is becoming a major player on the bushberry scene with its strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, as well as year-round offerings of both conventional and organic berries. In addition to Florida, it grows strawberries in California in Oxnard, Santa Maria and Watsonville- Salinas, as well as in Mexico.