By Brad Rader
2015 will long be remembered as one of the most difficult seasons for Washington’s raspberries growers. Growers who are making re-planting decisions now or in the near future are left to wonder, “Are raspberries in my future, or is it time to switch to another crop?” I think processed raspberry growers around the world are having these same discussions based on changing weather patterns, limited land suitable to profitable raspberry production, and the lack of new varieties adapted to less than optimal growing conditions. I firmly believe that this is the time to stay in raspberries!
My optimism about the industry’s future comes in part from my experience with the National Processed Raspberry Council, and seeing firsthand just what can (and will!) be done to build a vibrant, dynamic marketplace for raspberries. The benefits can only be reaped if we make sure there is crop ready to answer that demand.
It is reason to stay the course, to keep raspberry land growing raspberries and to find new land for raspberries. A big part of our future success as an industry is the aggressive development of new raspberry varieties. I encourage you to let commercial and university plant breeders know that they need to double down on their efforts to develop new varieties now!
In December, the Council’s staff will be presenting a thorough summary of the marketing and nutrition research programs at the Small Fruit Conference in Lynden, WA, and will be available to answer your questions. You owe it to yourself to come out and find out how your money is being invested and why raspberries should be in your future.
Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our industry.
NPRC Marketing Committee Chair