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Homegrown Organic Farms acquires new production facility

Homegrown Organic Farms plans to begin packing blueberries at its new facility in Kingsburg, CA, in 2014. Director of Marketing Scott Mabs said the new facility — which is significantly larger than its current production facility in Arvin, CA — will give the company the ability to handle commodities under one roof. “It will create more of a master facility,” he told The Produce News.HomegrownOrganicFarmsHomegrown Organic Farms anticipates a 20-percent increase in its organic California blueberry volume this season. (Photo courtesy of Homegrown Organic Farms)

The company is located in Porterville, CA, and is a producer and supplier of a host of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Homegrown Organic Farms was the first company to move organic California blueberries to the marketplace and has entered its eighth year as a producer and supplier. Ranches are located in the San Joaquin Valley from Arvin to Visalia, CA.

Mr. Mabs said the 2013 season couldn’t be going better. “Conditions have been amazing,” he said. “We’ve had no frost damage. The crop set was a good, strong crop set. And we’ve had no rain.”

The harvest began the week of April 22 and will wrap up the third week of June as long as there’s no excessive heat. “Right now, sizing looks typical this season,” he continued. “With outstanding weather conditions, quality looks great.”

All the positives will translate to a 20-percent increase in overall volume this season. “We’re continuing to see growth organically,” Mr. Mabs noted. “Continued, sustained growth is encouraging.”

This season, blues will be packed at the Arvin facility.

The company markets blueberries to its North America retail and wholesale customers under the “Homegrown Organic Farms” label. A variety of packaging options are available based upon customer demand.

In addition to its California deal, Homegrown Organic Farms also grows organic blueberries at its ranch in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Following the ranch’s transition to organic production, the company marketed its first organic berries from the location last year. Production in Oregon generally ramps up in July.

“We are coming out with a new label this year for our Oregon berries,” Mr. Mabs said.