Rivermaid Trading growing to meet consumer demand for cherries

From The Packer | 30 March 2022

Overview of cherries from California in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on March 29, 2022. 

As expectations rise from consumers, one company has worked to adapt to the market. It has been a team effort to make proper adjustments.

Lodi, Calif.-based Rivermaid Trading Co. is a California cherry and pear grower-shipper. The cherry program has evolved significantly over the last 10 years for the company.

“[We] started with building our field team. We added a lifelong cherry grower, who took our cherry program to another level,” said Kyle Persky, sales manager at Rivermaid.

The company has also been automating to help build its cherry program.

“We’ve added three cherry machines with optical sorters at our packing facility,” Persky said.

The company will start picking light in late April. It expects peak production around the week of May 16. The date falls right before Memorial Day promotions opportunities. Persky expects three solid weeks of promotional opportunity after peak volume hits.

cherry volumes by origin 5

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

“We have cherries in most of the growing districts. The company has grown our market share over the last five years and diversified our customers,” Persky said. “This year, we added a significant central valley grower. It helps to have a lot more early cherries to sell.”

Looking at the upcoming season volume, Persky expects a smaller crop with bigger sizes.

“We had a heavy crop set last year, especially with coral,” Persky said. “Most of the early orchards don’t look like a big bumper crop like last year. There will be better-sized cherries with a smaller crop, though.”

cherry prices by size as

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Persky’s high hopes for the cherry season extend to the company’s future, also.

“We have great leadership, starting with the owners. The different division leaders communicate very well,” Persky said. “We’ve created a good team.”

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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