Sunny Valley International excited about upcoming peach season
Sunny Valley International has been supplying fruits and vegetables to the North American market since 1986. The company is looking forward to an outstanding domestic season in 2021.
“As always, our domestic program starts with South Carolina peaches, and we should start shipping right around May 10, depending on the weather,” said Tom Beaver, director of sales and marketing for the Glassboro, NJ-based company. “This year, we are expecting to start with strong volume right out of the gate, and are looking forward to supporting our key accounts right out of the gate.”
Sunny Valley International is the exclusive marketing agent for Ridge Spring, SC-based Dixie Belle Peaches, owned and operated by the Forrest family, a fourth-generation peach farm that ranks among the top 15 stone fruit growers in the U.S. every year.
“The Forrests rightly take a tremendous amount of pride in their operation,” Beaver said. “Their commitment to excellence is reflected by the fact that they grow only the best varieties, bred to perform exceptionally well in South Carolina’s unique growing conditions. Their state-of-the-art packing facility also ensures that they are putting the best possible product in every box that they ship.”
Dixie Belle prioritizes technology and food safety in the competitive peach market and is one of only two peach growers east of the Mississippi River with new sorting and scanning technology in its packing house.
While the standard 25-pound volume fill box continues to be the most popular pack style for peaches, the company has seen an increasing shift by many of its customers to special packs intended to maximize the marketability of peaches at retail. From grab-and-go 2-pound bags to custom tray-packs, Dixie Belle has the ability to pack to any customer specification, which makes providing what Sunny Valley customers demand a cinch.
“We support major retail accounts up-and-down the Eastern seaboard and into the Midwest,” Beaver said. “Our customers know that they can rely on us to deliver premium quality peaches that will keep their customers coming back for more. They recognize that when they make the decision to partner with us, they’re getting peaches that were picked, packed and shipped 24-48 hours before hitting their unloading docks.”
Peaches this time of year always sell well and Sunny Valley expects the South Carolina peach production to be strong this season.
“Peaches go hand-in-hand with the shift to warmer temperatures and the onset of summer, and Eastern peaches are unrivaled for flavor, freshness and quality,” Beaver said. “We are anticipating an outstanding South Carolina peach crop in 2021. We enjoyed ample chill hours over the winter, and the timing of the bloom set was ideal. In the weeks since, we’ve been fortunate to avoid any unfavorable weather events, so we should have a big crop of beautiful fruit from mid-May into August.”