SunnyRidge Farm Inc. is launching into organic blueberries.

The Winter Haven, Fla.-based grower-shipper plans to offer packs of organically-grown blueberries from Florida and Georgia this spring and from other growing regions in the summer and early fall.

SunnyRidge enters organic blueberry deal

Courtesy SunnyRidge Farm Inc.

Winter Haven, Fla.-based SunnyRidge Farm Inc. expects to start shipping organic blueberries, such as these berries near Zolfo Springs, Fla,, in late March.

SunnyRidge expects to begin shipments of the 4.4-ounce clamshells of organic berries from south and central Florida as early as March 20.

Volume is expected to build through early April; the state’s peak blueberry volume normally hits in early and mid-April with shipments decreasing by May 10.

Georgia’s early season begins in mid-April and runs through late May while its later season begins by Memorial Day and runs through July 4.

Keith Mixon, SunnyRidge’s president and chief executive officer, said SunnyRidge plans to offer organic blueberries from other growers in California and Oregon in late May and in July.

“Organics have had a tough year or maybe a tough 18 months as far as expanded growth, but we are optimistic that there is a group of consumers that will want organic blueberries year-round,” he said. “What we hope is that our Southeastern fruit will provide that extra couple of months of organic product and carry through the rest of the months from different organic sources.”

While blueberries are SunnyRidge’s only organic product, Mixon said the company might consider packing organic strawberries and blackberries as well and plans to grow organic blueberries in Mexico and source organic berries from Chile.

SunnyRidge grows blueberries in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Mexico and plans to ship up to 10% of its Southeastern blueberries or 5 million pounds as organic during its first year, Mixon said.