PLANT CITY, Fla., April 28 (UPI) — Pesticide residue-free blueberries are being sold in grocery stores at prices competitive with those of conventional blueberries, a Florida grower-shipper says.
Gary Wishnatzki, the president of Wishnatzki Farms, in Plant City, Fla. — also known as Wish Farms — says he began shipping pesticide residue-free blueberries from the Plant City area this month.
“I believe pesticide residue-free blueberries will be embraced by consumers,” Wishnatzki says in a statement. “These berries will be more affordable than organics, which have a loyal following, but are too pricey for many customers. This alternative to organics will appeal to a much larger audience.”
Wish Farms — which says it ships about 6 million pounds of blueberries a year — is the only shipper in the country to have blueberries approved by Scientific Certification Systems, a third-party organization that certifies environmental and safety claims, Wishnatzki says.
The pesticide residue-free certification involves field sampling and laboratory testing to guarantee no detectable pesticides — less than .01 parts per million. Pesticide residue-free means a minimal amount of pesticides were used on crops, but no pesticide residues are found on the final product.
Wishnatzki Farms keep the price of its pesticide residue-free blueberries at or near the price of conventional berries because blueberries are relatively easy to grow with minimal pesticides, Wishnatzki told the Packer.