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Sunny Valley anticipates strong blueberries and stone fruit out of NJ

By
Keith Loria

Sunny Valley International has been working with New Jersey fruit for more than 25 years. It has increased production significantly over the years, marketing more than 600,000 boxes of New Jersey blueberries and a half-a-million boxes of New Jersey stone fruit on a yearly basis.

“Right now, there is a lot of excitement about the upcoming New Jersey blueberry and stone fruit seasons,” said Tom Beaver, director of sales and marketing for the Glassboro, NJ-based company. “For the most part, the weather has cooperated with us this winter and spring, so we are looking forward to strong, promotable volumes for the items that we handle out of New Jersey.”

Sunny Valley International is the exclusive marketing partner for the Jersey Fruit Cooperative and Larchmont Farms and is a leading shipper of New Jersey blueberries and stone fruit.

“From mid-June through early-August, we ship New Jersey blueberries, and we also market yellow and white peaches and nectarines from early-July through Labor Day,” Beaver said.

It’s the direct relationships with the grower-members of the Jersey Fruit Cooperative and with Larchmont Farms that he noted sets the company apart from the competition.

“We represent small- to mid-sized multi-generational family farms throughout Southern New Jersey that are committed to packing excellent quality products under our labels,” Beaver said. “We also market organic blueberries, a category that is limited in availability out of New Jersey, so we are able to supply our customers with the full suite of blueberry products throughout the season.” 

For the 2022 season, Sunny Valley is anticipating excellent blueberry and stone fruit crops.

“For blueberries, given that the Southeast has been lighter than normal so far this season and heavy ads have been somewhat limited, we know that retailers are looking forward to picking back up with promotions once Jersey gets started,” Beaver said. “We are expecting equally favorable opportunities to market New Jersey stone fruit since the Southeastern and California peach and nectarine crops will both be relatively tight as well.”

The company is the only shipper on the East Coast with both Southeastern and New Jersey stone fruit programs, so it will be in an excellent position to keep its retail partners going with good volume from early June through mid-September. 

Sunny Valley enjoys working in New Jersey because of the outstanding soil that allows its farmers to grow the best.

“Our growers pack and ship premium quality fruit,” Beaver said. “Additionally, our proximity to market allows us to get our products onto retail shelves throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic more quickly than product from any other growing region. This year, we also have the strong advantage of significantly reduced freight rates when shipping to these same locations. Just like growers, retailers have experienced across-the-board cost increases in recent years as well, so now more than ever, buying product ‘close to home’ creates tremendous value.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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