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CBS Farms increases organic acreage

CBS Farms LLC in Watsonville, CA, which handles strawberry sales for Watsonville-based Colleen Strawberries Inc. and Beach Street Farms LLC (hence the name CBS), has strawberry production in both Oxnard, CA, and Watsonville. In Watsonville, the company has both conventional and organic strawberries.

For the 2013 season, “we have a slight increase in conventional acreage” in Watsonville and a 30 percent increase in organic, said Charlie Staka, director of sales.

It’s all company production in both districts, grown by the farming companies that own the marketing company.

005-CalStraw-CBSCharlie Staka of CBS Farms and Edward Ortega of Beach Street Farms with Jerry Summers and Bob Rigor of CBS Farms.In Oxnard, it grows Benicia and San Andreas varieties, and the berries are packed in the “Beach Street Farms” label. In Watsonville, Albion, San Andreas and Monterey, varieties are grown for both conventional and organic production and packed in both the “Colleen” and “Beach Street” labels.

“The crop is a little late in Oxnard right now, but it is coming along quality-wise,” Mr. Staka said Feb. 28. “We got set back in the month of January with lots of cold temperatures, but we are looking toward a good production in March.” The plants appeared to be “gearing up for good production” starting about the second week in March. By around March 25, “we’ll be rolling.”

Watsonville appears to be about two weeks behind schedule “with the cool temperatures that we have had,” he said. But “the plants are looking good, so we are looking forward to a good season there.” He expected the harvest in Watsonville to start around the first week in April.

On sales, along with Mr. Staka are Bob Rigor and Jerry Summers.

Consistent product, consistent quality and personalized service are what the company strives for, Mr. Staka said.