This week we took our first of a series of field trips. The stop was Cherry Ke, a sister company (grower) for GLPC. It’s located just down the road and consists of an office, a maintenance shop, and a few storage barns for harvesting machines. The sprayer trucks are parked along the outside, each one custom-made from the base of previous school buses, and everything is surrounded by fields of tart and sweet cherries. One of the supervisors, Bruce, gave us a tour and introduced us to the employees. He also explained to us how all of the machinery runs and is operated by crew members.
Back at the office, my supervisor Joanna won the bid for her application for a USDA tart cherry order. She said that GLPC itself won’t receive much profit from the bid, but the purchase will directly benefit our cooperative grower-owners (Shoreline Fruit Growers). When we keep our growers happy, it keeps our business relationships strong. Joanna showed me all of the spreadsheets and forms involved in placing these bids; in the end, the growers with the cheapest price per lot will win the bid. There’s no typical outcome for a given year, but bids become more competitive during low-production crop years.