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OPN Connect Newsletter 336 · September 7, 2023

40 Years of Success for California Giant Berry Farms


Over the last four decades, California Giant Berry Farms has established itself as a name synonymous with quality, offering the best berry experience for retailers, foodservice operators, and consumers alike by providing a year-round supply of premium, sustainably grown strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

In 2023, California Giant is celebrating its 40-year anniversary and its dedication to quality, which includes premium grading standards as well as the company’s excellent growers and dedicated staff.

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Tom Smith, Director of Sales, California Giant Berry Farms

“We’re proud of our history and looking forward to continued future success,” said Tom Smith, director of sales at the Watsonville, California-based company. 

California Giant offers a full line of organic strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries that are grown with the earth’s future in mind.


California Giant Berry Farms organic blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries

Vitalis February 2024

“Our commitment to providing the best organic berries spans decades, with land stewardship, integrated pest management, and cultural practices at the forefront of our growers' farming methods,” Smith said. “California Giant Berry Farms has increased fall and winter supply, so organics can be offered year-round to strategic organic customers.”

Recently, the company has expanded its organics program, with increased acreage for all four berries throughout the year from growers who support California Giant’s premium quality and specifications. 

“Our commitment to providing the best organic berries spans decades, with land stewardship, integrated pest management, and cultural practices at the forefront of our growers' farming methods.” - Tom Smith

So far, 2023 has been somewhat of a challenging year for some of the company’s growing regions.

Fox Packaging January February 2024

“Ultimately, weather impacted crops early on—from above average amounts of rain, flooding, or uncharacteristically cold weather,” Smith said. “Like most California production, our production curves were shifted, and peak promotable volumes are arriving, albeit later than average.”

Even still, the weather hasn’t stopped the company from meeting the needs of its customers and continuing the great relationships it's always had. And California Giant’s upcoming crops are on par to deliver high-quality fruit to customers.

Hiwassee February 2024

“While the 2023 strawberry season had a slow start due to weather conditions throughout California, volume in the California peak during May through mid-July was excellent,” Smith said. “Current estimates for the next several weeks are averaging down as is expected in mid- to late summer. We will get another push as we get into the Santa Maria fall crop in September and October.”

“Like most California production, our production curves were shifted, and peak promotable volumes are arriving, albeit later than average.” - Tom Smith

One of the hallmarks of California Giant is that it strives to be at the forefront of sustainability, resiliency, and social responsibility. 

“California Giant is proud to represent the first and second strawberry operations in the world to achieve the Sustainably Grown certification from SCS Global Services,” Smith said. “The Sustainably Grown certification addresses a broad range of issues related to economics, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility. The company has no plans to slow its sustainability efforts and will continue to increase sustainability certifications to more of their growing entities over the next few years.”

Sustainably Grown Certified strawberry operations

Originally co-founded in 1983 by Bill Moncovich, California Giant Berry Farms started small with a simple mission in mind—to provide the best-quality strawberries and give back to the community.

“The company has no plans to slow its sustainability efforts and will continue to increase sustainability certifications to more of their growing entities over the next few years.” - Tom Smith

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Looking ahead, California Giant Berry Farms plans to continue to build out its 12-month supply of all four berries in both conventional and organic, so both options are available, and consumers can decide which they want to purchase.

“We prefer to offer the full berry line in both conventional and organic to our customers year-around,” Smith said. 

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