Walkling The Walk With Bobalu

Oxnard, CA – Bobalu Berry Farms is celebrating the success of their weekly e-news titled the “10 o’clock Walk” due to the increase in the number of buyer subscribers.   This weekly bulletin summarizes what the team sees in the fields each week specific to volume, quality, and weather, as well as the current outlook ahead for the fields in production.   

The 10 o’clock Walk e-news has been especially helpful this season.  Whether on the buy side or sell side of the California strawberry deal this year, it has not been a ‘typical’ season to date.  One thing that has helped the team at Bobalu Berry Farms is the constant communication with buyers on exactly what is happening in the fields as they walk them every day at “10AM”. 

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While this year has not been typical, the sales team at Bobalu has focused on transparency with buying partners as they navigate through demand exceeds situations during the Spring holiday season where strawberries are the focal point in the produce department.  “We have really tried to stay close to our buyers and not overcommit, to be realistic on what is happening in the field and understand their challenges in keeping fruit on the shelves for shoppers.  The weekly bulletin is another way to share insights and timely photos of what the fields look like today” says Anthony Gallino, VP of Sales. 

Each morning at 10AM the team walks the fields, checks the fruit, tastes the fruit, and assesses test varieties in various plots as they determine viability for future seasons.  Having this daily connection to the field provides direct insights to buyers and a higher degree of confidence in what they are selling.  Even through COVID challenges with limited in-person contact, the team has stayed connected every morning, even if through the lens of a Zoom camera. 

Today, as the team walks the fields, this truly is a season for the record books.  Bobalu’s peak season in Oxnard this year was almost a full month behind where it typically falls, and volume is about 20-30% lower than normal.  The entire district of Oxnard is currently about 5 million trays behind 2020 volume.  Additionally, the company’s Santa Maria fields are following suit with lower early numbers and running about a month behind in timing for a peak, with total district numbers about 3 million trays behind last year.   In looking at statewide volume for fresh strawberries, cumulative volume is 10 million trays behind the 2020 season to date.  Weather has served as the main driver for this shift in 2021 and thankfully the weekly 10 0’clock walk e-news has helped to keep buyers informed of the ever-changing conditions experienced this year. 

Thankfully, the weather is shifting, Spring may finally be here, and there is still a lot of season ahead with peak Santa Maria season coming for Bobalu who also put plants in the ground there this week in preparation for a fall crop in this region.  The e-news will keep the database of subscribers up to date with timing and photos as this comes into play later this summer. 

To subscribe or get more information about content and timing, check out the past issues at www.bobaluberries.com/connect