North Bay Produce introduces new blueberry variety
North Bay Produce is a cooperative of more than 32 grower-owners from North, Central and South America, producing fresh fruits and vegetables year-round.
“Michigan is where our company was founded and it is also a tremendously diverse and productive fresh produce state with wonderful farm families that do outstanding work,” said Brian Klumpp, director of marketing for the Traverse City, MI-based company. “As the farms in Michigan have grown and matured, the next generations have grown with North Bay Produce. That process provides for a rich and deeply committed partnership between our grower owners and the employees of NBP.”
North Bay Produce started as an apple company and apples were and remain a vital part of the tremendous fresh produce grown in Michigan. “We live in an area that is not only picturesque, but also is uniquely situated to grow some of the best fruits and vegetables in the world,” Klumpp said. “With sandy soil, Lake Michigan is able to moderate temperatures throughout the year with cool evenings and warm days, NBP’s produce not only looks perfect but it also has outstanding flavor.”
Through the first six months of 2022, Klumpp characterizes the year as “strong, but difficult battling inflation pressures.” Still, NBP has considerable opportunities with such great growers spread across the Americas with tremendous produce quality and outstanding company support, so it’s getting by successfully.
“We work every single day to run the most responsive and efficient operations that we can at NBP,” Klumpp said. “Doing all of that combined with a companywide attitude that is focused on working hard with a positive attitude, NBP does a very good job running our business.”
One new area of excitement at the company is with its new blueberry variety, Sekoya. “Sekoya will be a considerable addition to our business, and we have other trials that look promising as well that we hope to be able to announce later this year,” Klumpp said. “Berries continue to look to be growth areas for our business and particularly those with improved flavor, texture and shelf life. Our vegetables are trending very well also. We also anticipate continued growth in supply of many of our vegetables.”
NBP works with many of the leading retailers in the world as well as foodservice companies. These long-term and very strong relationships are the result of not being useful to them on just one occasion, but to be a reliable and consistent partner no matter what the market conditions are.
“As NBP represents over 2,000 farms across North, Central and South America, that considerable strength of supply is a critical part of supporting our partners,” Klumpp said. “Then managing all of the variables and exceptionally executing customers’ needs, combining all of these factors leading to long and strong partnerships.”
This year, NBP will give $7.6 million to its growers, and has given more than $54.8 million back since 1993. “Sustainable growth is a key for NBP,” Klumpp said. “As a grower-owned cooperative, our goal is to support our farmers by helping them to reinvest in their farms.”