NJ Peach Promotion Council spread the joys of peaches

peachpeach Since 1950, the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council has been devoted to marketing and promoting the Garden State’s delicious and healthy peaches. Its members include growers, shippers, wholesalers and others who want to help farmers grow the best peaches possible while also preserving farmland in New Jersey.

“The council does a lot of things for the industry, it fills a lot of gaps,” said Jerome Frecon, a consultant for the council. “We work closely with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture promoting the Jersey Fresh program.”

Frecon noted there were about 14,500 acres of peach trees when he began working with the council in 1981. Today there are about 5,000, but the state still sells 50 to 65 million pounds of peaches each year. That ranks New Jersey fourth behind Georgia, South Carolina and California.

The council’s activities include hosting events such as a peach pie contest, crowning a Peach Queen each year and observing August as New Jersey Peach Month. Though those aren’t likely to happen in 2020 because of the coronavirus.

“I think now we probably sell more peaches in July than August,” Frecon said. “It’s hard to say, things have shifted as we’ve developed earlier varieties, we seem to have a stronger market early in the season.”

New Jersey’s peach season runs from early July until mid-September, and even though the state grows many varieties, Frecon said peaches rarely are sold by variety in supermarkets.

“About 60 to 70 percent of our peaches are sold through supermarkets, the rest are sold directly through U-pick, CSA farmers markets and community farmers markets,” he said. “When there’s someone who knows something about peaches, you can sell peaches by variety. If there’s an individual supplier, he can identify those peaches but when we sell them to the supermarkets, they don’t identify our peaches by the variety.”

He added that New Jersey peaches are typically promoted in Jersey, of course, but also in New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Boston. Sometimes that target area becomes wider because of the volume of peaches that are available.

“South Carolina and Georgia are both growing later peaches,” he said. “It used to be the Georgia deal would be wrapped up before July; now their peaches run well into August. South Carolina grows more late peaches and California has peaches into November.”

There is also competition from other fruits, such as apples, which now take up shelf space in supermarkets well before autumn. Peaches also have to contend with other classic summer fruits, such as blueberries and grapes.

Frecon said the council is finding ways to make peaches stand out by offering different varieties, such as flat peaches, and by promoting locally grown fruit.

“We have lots of new varieties that the growers are excited about,” he said. “We grow a lot of flaming fury peaches, that’s a group of varieties that are popular.”

Other New Jersey peach varieties include the Desiree, Gloria, Messina and Victoria. Also growing in popularity, according to Frecon, are white peaches, known as rose peaches.

Another factor, of course, has been the weather and the unusually cold spring.

“We have had some pockets of frost and cold weather so I would say our production will be down this year compared to last year,” Frecon said. “It’s hard to gauge because we had at least five nights of sub-freezing temperatures during bloom. But the duration of the temperature and how low it went varied from site to site.”

While he said it’s difficult to estimate numbers, Frecon is certain there will be lots of Jersey peaches for consumer to enjoy this summer.

tpn daily signup

Students gain real world experience thanks to L&M internships
The future of the produce industry will depend largely on new people being introduced to the field, which is why L&M Cos. offers internships based on seasonal needs throughout the L&M farms, warehouses and sales teams. “Intern programs in fresh produce are great exposure for young people to be a part of a vital industry,” Read More ...
New Whole Foods Market features 75 local growers
Whole Foods Market recently opened a new 35,000-square-foot store in East Austin, TX. Special features of the new East Austin store include: Produce department offering a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including selections from about 75 local growers throughout the year including fresh flowers, peaches and Read More ...
Retailer announces plans to rebuild
CUB and its franchise partner Jerry’s Foods announced its commitment to the Minneapolis community to rebuild its Broadway Avenue and Lake Street stores, both of which are owned by Jerry’s Foods. CUB also announced that while those two locations remain closed, CUB plans to open temporary community stores at each location to Read More ...
Sun World takes firm stance on IP rights breach
California-based variety development and licensing company Sun World International LLC has reached settlement of a dispute with a prominent Australian table grape producer (and associated entities) within the Sunraysia region. This follows breaches of Sun World’s intellectual property and contractual rights discovered Read More ...
Fall Creek names regional director for Mexico
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc., a global blueberry breeding and nursery company, has announced that Alberto Medina-Mora has joined the company as regional director for Mexico. Most recently, Medina-Mora served as senior director of development and innovation at NatureSweet Mexico, a vertically integrated tomato grower, Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse