Berry People markets inclusive berry community
With a fresh perspective on what it means to grow and market produce, Berry People of Hollister, CA, is bringing together a diverse team of laborers, consumers, employees, growers, buyers and stakeholders. “What this means, is that we are an extension of our growers’ operations, and the quality of our placement and competitiveness of our pricing has a direct impact to the health of their operations, and the economic security of the families they employ. These families (farm and facility workers) are an integral part of the inclusive community that we are branding as Berry People and are an important part of our raison d’etre,” said President Jerald Downs.
Its commitment to a diverse, but unified berry community drives the company’s branding. Berry People branded products feature the company’s unique strawberry logo. “Each individual circle represents a berry person,” explained Downs, “all coming together with different roles and levels of responsibilities around a common goal, the calyx representing the stewardship that ownership and management has for this community, and the stem representing our responsibility to an authority greater than ourselves to do right by those within our care.”
This is realized through leadership’s individual and joint experiences. “As we are in our early years as a company, this currently plays itself out unassumingly, such as in the quality of the company’s health insurance package, our grower agreements requiring fair labor practices for any fruit we handle, and the general way that we live out our values when interacting with one another, especially with those most vulnerable in our value chain, such as our migrant harvest labor,” said Downs.
When asked what this means as the company matures and looks to make its mark on the industry, Downs said, “With our values being a part of our DNA as a company, I expect our practices to increasingly reflect in areas such as employee development, labor housing, health care and other life-enrichment activities, and increasingly support local charities, talent development initiatives, and industry improvement organizations.”