H-SANTA MARIA

Mar 19, 2013 6:46 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Strawberry farmers use branding to go international

It's a berry sweet change for one local strawberry farmer.
Daren Gee is taking some tips from the likes of Nike, Crest, and Apple.
We're talking about brand recognition, and Daren's Berries wants its name all over the map.

"Today we're packing Daren's berries," said Daren Gee, owner of the farm.

At the heart of every business is a first class product.

"I think Santa Maria is actually the best strawberry region on the Central Coast," said Gee, and he not only wants everyone in California to know it, he wants the entire world to know it.

Over the next year, Daren's Berries hopes to ship one million strawberries in boxes labeled from Santa Maria to eight countries worldwide.

"The international demand for strawberries is increasing all the time," said Gee.

In fact it's more than doubled over the last three years.
The added markets also give farmers the opportunity to offset falling prices locally.

"When there's huge production here in California, the United States market price diminishes," said Gee. "It naturally does that, we all know that, but overseas it's very steady."

The new branding will help Daren hopefully lock in those markets and customers.

"This box did not create itself by one person, this is a group effort," said Gee. "I've had people that have been with me for 18 years, and this is a great moment for all of us."

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