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Just in time for the 2010 blueberry season, California Giant Berry Farms is launching a state-of-the-art cooling and packing facility in Aurora, OR.

Located in the Willamette Valley, this facility has been designated by California Giant as a strategic shipping location for this highly productive region. Establishing the Pacific Northwest as the cornerstone of its domestic production program, this new facility furthers the company's commitment to a year-round quality bush berry program.

California Giant's new facility is fully equipped and ready to receive fruit when harvest begins in mid-June.

"We are pleased with the location here in the Willamette Valley, which is one of the most productive blueberry-producing regions in the world," Joe Barsi, vice president of business development for California Giant, said in a June 2 press release. "The location and the state-of-the-art facility will enable us to deliver a continuous, high-quality berry supply to our customers. We look forward to building long-term relationships in this growing region and expanding the program in the coming years."

Fruit handling and preservation are hallmarks of the California Giant Berry Farms program. With its attention to detail and focus on enhancing fruit quality for retailers and consumers, the company has built an advanced, function-specific facility designed and engineered to preserve the quality of small fruits.

California Giant has two seasoned berry veterans managing the company's commitment to fruit quality in the region. Patrick Garrison, bush berry operations manager, works closely with the region's top growers to procure bush berry supplies. Silverio Ramos, production manager for the Pacific Northwest, is responsible for all aspects of production and quality control. Both Messrs. Garrison and Ramos are based out of the Aurora facility.

The Pacific Northwest region, combined with several regions within California, is expected to provide the company with a promotable domestic supply of bush berries from March through October. These volumes will continue to complement Cal Giant's established winter production in South America, providing year-round quality berries.