Driscoll's Strawberries Watsonville

2991 CLUI photo.

California produces more than 80 percent of the fresh strawberries consumed in America, with four firms accounting for more than fifty percent of that total. (Frozen strawberries are another matter altogether, with most coming from Mexico.) Driscoll’s is a family owned business that contracts with more than 300 independent farmers in six states and eight countries to cultivate its own proprietary varieties of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberries. It is estimated to have an approximately 20 percent share of the U.S. market for fresh strawberries, and an astonishing 90 percent of the raspberry business. Strawberries are extremely perishable, requiring in-field cooling within an hour of harvest, and storage at 32 degrees F, with humidity levels of 90 to 95 percent, and, ideally, a modified atmosphere of 10 to 15 percent carbon dioxide to slow respiration and reduce rot.

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