Big prices for a small fruit.
Tom Gotelli oversees the cherry production at OG Packing and says the price of cherries has roughly doubled in the last year.
At Sacramento’s Caesar Chavez Park farmers market, cherries are between $4 and $6 a pound.
At the grocery store, they’re about $8 per pound.
Gotelli says the price increase stems from a warm winter.
“We didn’t get the dormancy, and that’s anywhere where the chill factors 45 degrees or less, and then when the trees come out in the springtime, everything doesn’t align, and we don’t get a good set,” Gotelli said.
Gotelli says revenues are already down industry wide about 70 to 80 percent.
“It’s affected not just the growers and the packers but it affects the airlines, the trucking, it affects the cardboard for the boxes, the plastic bags that we buy and the employees,” Gotelli said.
Some of the consumers at the farmers market on Wednesday said the prices didn’t matter to them.
“I look forward to it every year, cherry season. It’s one of the best parts about living in Sacramento,” said Richard Burton.
Burton shoveled handful of cherries into bags and said he’d continue to buy them, regardless of the price.
“I’m willing to pay more, but I’m not going to tell anyone that,” said Burton.
Cherry season typically goes until mid to late June. This year, it will end next week.