The Blos­som Hill orchards are located in Pat­ter­son, Cal­i­for­nia. Some sug­gest this loca­tion to be the world’s best apricot-​growing region.

Lucich — San­tos Farms have been family-​owned for more than 90 years. For over 35 years, they’ve devel­oped exper­tise in grow­ing, pack­ing and ship­ping Cal­i­for­nia apri­cots and apri­ums under the Blos­som Hill Orchard name.

Four gen­er­a­tions over­see the daily oper­a­tions. Their over­ar­ch­ing goal is to pro­vide cus­tomers with the best eat­ing, sweet­est, juicy apri­cots.

Jim Lucich, sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Blos­som Hill, said the 2018 crop in Pat­ter­son is lighter than usual. Weather played a part with the crop set. Chill hours were lower than needed, and some cold and rain that came after the bloom had an effect on the crop.

The com­pany grows its apri­cots in a sustainable-​minded envi­ron­ment. Lucich and San­tos Farms and Blos­som Hill Packing’s objec­tive is to pro­duce pre­mium deli­cious fruit with food safety in mind.

This requires hard work in nur­tur­ing their fruit, but also the imple­men­ta­tion of a first-​class Global Food Safety Ini­tia­tive. GFSI is a bench­marked food-​safety pro­gram and is an inte­gral part of their entire oper­a­tion.

The company’s food-​safety pro­gram was estab­lished with col­lab­o­ra­tion between Lucich and San­tos Farm man­age­ment — John and Dave San­tos — and MVP Food Safety Con­sul­ta­tion.

The food-​safety pro­gram includes the use of GAPs in all phases of pro­duc­tion — dur­ing plant­ing, crop pro­tec­tion, grow­ing and har­vest­ing.

When imple­ment­ing its FFSI bench­marked GAP pro­gram, it focuses on food secu­rity, adja­cent land use and water qual­ity, along with use prac­tices, equip­ment san­i­ta­tion, soil fer­til­ity man­age­ment, wildlife, pest plus ver­min con­trol, crop pro­tec­tion, worker hygiene, san­i­tary facil­i­ties, har­vest­ing prac­tices and trace­abil­ity.

Their GFSI bench­marked GAP pro­gram also includes non-​production items such as employee train­ing.

The pur­pose of the dynamic pro­gram is to insti­tute a proac­tive food-​safety sys­tem for its grow­ing oper­a­tion. Any poten­tial prod­uct haz­ards are antic­i­pated and con­trolled from land acqui­si­tion through fruit pack­ing and dis­tri­b­u­tion.

The com­pany also holds an Organic Crop Cer­tifi­cate and an Organic Han­dling Cer­tifi­cate. The numer­ous pack options for apri­cots (clamshells, bags, pun­nets and tray packs) offer some kind of apri­cot for all end users.

Look for a good local apri­cot eat­ing season.

To read the full Mar­ket Report, includ­ing this week’s mar­ket update, see below or click here.

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