Oregon Berry Packing planted its inaugural blueberry field in 1992, and by 1996 “Oregon Berry” blueberries had become renowned in premium markets throughout North America and the Pacific Rim of Asia.
Recognized for their delicious taste and healthful benefits, blueberries have become our hottest seller. At Oregon Berry Packing, we carefully select varieties that are optimally suited to our climate and that offer outstanding flavor and firmness. Unlike the competition, 100% of our fresh market blueberries are Oregon-grown and fields are planted, pruned and harvested under our direct supervision. This meticulous oversight ensures a consistently superior product from the ground up.
Blueberries are the most exciting, in-demand super food of today’s market. Not only is their delightfully sweet flavor highly prized, research shows that blueberries are loaded with antioxidants—natural substances which guard against aging, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and have been found to improve eyesight and short-term memory. Blueberries are also high in fiber, iron, vitamin C, and contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol. As made evident by worldwide research, these little blue dynamos possess a unique variation of phytonutrients that promote health benefits, unrivalled by other fruits and vegetables.
Oregon Berry Packing proudly serves as the largest North American shipper of fresh market blueberry volume to Japan.
Oregon Conditions Yield Better Blues
Our fresh market blueberries are grown in the fertile soil of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where low humidity combined with dry summer days and cool, crisp nights enable berries to hang on the bush for an extended period of time before harvesting is necessary. These unique conditions allow sugars to set, so that our blueberries can be picked at the peak of flavor, while retaining their firmness.
Oregon-grown blueberries are unsurpassed in quality and taste. Our state’s climate provides the optimal amount of chill hours necessary to grow the best blueberry varieties and, as a result of our idyllic growing environment, blueberry bushes in Oregon yield more volume per plant than any other region in the world!
Blueberries All Summer Long—And Beyond
The Duke variety kicks off our fresh blueberry season in the latter part of June. Its mildly sweet flavor profile, large size and exceptional firmness make it one of the most highly sought after varieties. As August approaches, Duke’s season begins to wind down and our impressive Draper, Brigitta, Legacy and Liberty varieties ripen. They offer a pleasant medley of high quality, luscious fresh blueberries well into September. Our blueberry harvest finishes up with the Ochlockonee, Powderblue and Aurora varieties. These desired cultivars are harvested through mid-October and enable us to supply wholesale customers with deliciously fresh blueberries long after the summer ends.
Handled With Care
Because the time between picking and cooling is critical to freshness, hand-harvested blueberries are rushed to our pre-cooler and chilled below 40° F as quickly as possible. Our packing process begins with a blower that gently removes field debris. Then the blueberries are sent through a sizer, color sorter and soft sorter to remove underripe and overripe fruit. Finally, the berries are hand-inspected, packed into clamshells and graded to make certain that our high quality standards are met.
Here at Oregon Berry Packing, stringent protocols have been developed with food safety in mind. After being packed into individual clamshells, our fresh blueberries pass through a metal detector to guarantee against any metal particles. Additionally, a lot code consisting of the harvest date, pack date and field source information is printed on every clamshell to ensure full traceability. These extra procedures protect end consumers and reduce potential liability for our distributors.
Oregon Berry Packing meets Japanese Grade ‘A’ standards with a majority of its tasty, plump frozen blueberries.
To Your Health All Year Long
Blueberries have been well documented for their health benefits. At Oregon Berry Packing, we realize that in order for the beneficial nutrients to remain abundant, they must be preserved. With this in mind, we developed a quick freeze process that maintains the berries’ freshness while locking in the beneficial nutrients. Our process preserves the antioxidants, fiber, iron and vitamin C–because we know that, although our frozen blueberries look and taste delicious, it’s what’s inside that counts.
Consistent Quality Process
Our frozen blueberry process begins in the field, where berries are either hand or machine-harvested, then rushed to our pre-cooler and chilled below 40° F as quickly as possible. Once pre-cooled, the blueberries are transferred to our main cooler, brought down to 32° F, and then ready for processing.
Processing begins with a blower gently removing field debris and a color chlorophyll sorter separating out underripe and overripe fruit. The blueberries are sent through de-stemmers, a sizer, washed, and then another blower removes excess moisture. Next, they are sorted on an inspection line, where defective berries are removed by hand. At the end of the inspection line, the berries pass through a magnet and metal detector to guard against any metal particles. Finally, automatic fillers send the berries into plastic-lined 30 pound boxes, which are transported to cold storage within two hours of being processed.
Packed To Your Specs
Although most customers prefer frozen blueberries packed into plastic-lined 30 pound boxes, we can customize many orders. The bulk of our frozen blueberry season typically occurs from July 15th through August 15th, but berries can be purchased year-round.