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California organic harvest begins with Bartletts and Galas

The organic apple and pear harvest has begun in California. As in past years, the start of the domestic harvest has been greeted with strong demand from the organic market, as retailers vie to promote the freshest organic fruit of the summer.

pears"When the California pear season rolls around, it is always a hectic, yet exciting time for our growers and their workers," Luis Acuña, president of CF Fresh Inc., said in a press release. "Our customers will enjoy beautiful, tasty and juicy organic Bartletts this year as the weather has been very favorable for the crop."

CF Fresh is expecting to pack around 50,000 cases of organically grown Bartletts from its California orchards. The crop volume is down a bit from last season, but the fruit is larger and very clean, with very little scarring. Packing began July 20 and movement has been brisk, with demand outpacing supply on the first packs.

Roy Ruff, CF Fresh's California-based sales representative, noted that the quality of the fruit this year is high. "California had a great growing season this year, and the fruit turned out beautifully," he said. "The weather all spring was perfect for tree fruit."

The organic Gala harvest is also just beginning in California. The hotly anticipated first organic Gala packing was expected to take place July 27. The apple crop has also benefited from the good growing conditions this season, and the apples are expected to be of excellent quality. CF Fresh estimates its 2012 California Gala crop volume will be about 30 percent larger than the 2011 crop, which is good news for both growers and marketers.

Both pears and apples are packed under the "Viva Tierra Organic" brand.

CF Fresh is a leading organic marketer providing fresh, certified organic produce to retail chains and wholesalers throughout North America, as well as exporting to Europe and Asia. With growers located in California, Washington and Oregon, as well as Chile and Argentina, CF Fresh offers a year-round supply of high-quality organic apples, pears, onions, stone fruits and more.