California Prune orchards put on a beautiful show this spring as the trees bloomed with white blossoms and shifted to a changing color palette as new fruit formed. Growers across the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys reported a nice extended bloom with excellent quality.
With an estimated 75,000 tons in volume for the 2021 crop, California Prune growers have been diligent in maintaining the health of the trees, the soil, and preparing crews for harvest this summer to produce the premium quality prunes that California is renowned for. Over the course of the pandemic, demand for California Prunes accelerated and the industry responded with smart inventory management which translates to consistency in supply for customers.
“Stable weather conditions and a steady supply have put the California Prune industry in a healthy position,” says Donn Zea, Executive Director for the California Prune Board. “We are hitting an equilibrium in acreage and supply due in part to the carryover that California maintains each year to provide customers with a high-quality, healthy product when it matters most.”
California is the world’s largest supplier of prunes providing a range of premium sizes to meet demand in the U.S. and key export markets. Generations of craftsmanship, intricate climate-controlled drying tunnels, and ongoing investments in research to perfect orchard management practices and deepen the understanding of health benefits, have provided a solid foundation for California’s growers and handlers.
“Providing a reliable supply each year is a priority across the industry,” added Zea. “With over 100 years of experience growing prunes, we’ve found our way through many challenges, but we’ve never taken our eye off the ball.”
California has the highest agricultural standards of any other nation. Prune growers and handlers make substantial investments that support the profitability and production of a sustainable food system without compromising efficiencies. Each year, the California Prune industry generates more than $717 million in annual economic impact flowing into the state economy creating and sustaining more than 7,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA PRUNE BOARD
Created in 1952, The California Prune Board aims to amplify the premium positioning and top-of-mind awareness of California Prunes through advertising, public relations, promotion, nutrition research, crop management and sustainability research, and issues management. The California Prune Board represents approximately 800 prune growers and 28 prune, juice, and ingredient handlers under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture.