WATSONVILLE, Calif. — A cold-chain training video series for retailers and an online recipe contest for consumers will open California Giant Berry Farms’ marketing efforts for 2012.

The video series, dubbed “The Cool Factor,” will appear on YouTube and, by request, on DVD, according to a news release.

“Practicing proper cold-chain management is critical to the profitability of our fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries,” Anthony Gallino, vice president of sales for Watsonville-based California Giant, said in the release.

“Training is essential, and we’re here to offer quick and valuable information that drives our retail partners’ success.”

The recipe contest, “Sweet Taste of Spring,” backed by a social media effort and blogger contest, will be the first in a variety of seasonal consumer-focused promotions. The company’s Facebook fans were up to 20,381 on March 5, more than double last year’s amount.

Quick-response codes on California Giant clamshells are driving online traffic and sweepstakes entries, Cindy Jewell, director of marketing, said in the release.

The company also plans to establish a presence on the social media site Pinterest.