HBF International is the newest member of the Hurst’s Berry Farm Family. Owners Mark and Patty Hurst welcomed a new partnership with Doug Perkins in 2011 to establish a new sales and packing organization. Hurst’s Berry Farm is now the farming entity with farms in Oregon and Mexico.
You may ask, why HBF International? It’s very simple… “HBF” which stands for Hurst’s Berry Farm recognizes the foundation and the reputation that has been building for over 30 years. “International” recognizes the continued growth of worldwide grower and customer relationships.
As HBF International enters the next chapter in the Hurst’s Berry Farm book, we want to emphasize our commitment to providing the widest selection of fresh and safe berries from the world’s best growers to what we consider the world’s best customers. HBF International wants to emphasize our mission: Leadership, loyalty, and excellence in berries from farm to market.
HBF International is the result of hard work by many to help Hurst’s Berry Farm reach 30 years and counting. We would like to share a brief history on how we got to this point.
It was 1980 when Mark and Patty Hurst first started a 3.5 acre berry farm in Sheridan, Oregon. For the next four years, the Hursts would build the fledgling business: harvesting, loading, and driving the berries south to San Francisco Bay Area markets three times a week.
By the mid-eighties, demand was higher than we could supply; Hurst’s Berry Farm began purchasing and packing berries from other Oregon growers. With a new infusion of capital and our commitment to excellence, Hurst’s Berry Farm was gaining a reputation for top-quality products and service.
In 1998, Hurst’s began growing berries in Mexico to lengthen the season of availability. Since then, our operation has continued to expand, becoming the leading fresh berry shipper worldwide from our grower farms in Oregon, California, Chile, Canada, Washington, and Mexico.
In 2011, HBF International was started. Today, Mark spends his time split between his farm and export company in Mexico and the day to day operations of HBF International. Doug, who lives in California, splits his time between the offices in Oregon and California, committed to the day to day operations of HBF International.
Leadership, loyalty and excellence in berries from farm to market.
This is HBF International’s mission statement – both a long term vision and a daily practice that guides how we partner with growers and market their fresh berries throughout the world. Living up to this mission would not be possible without the dedication of our employees, growers, vendors and, of course, our faithful customers.
Leadership - HBF International recognizes how fast the fresh berry industry is changing. We have worked very hard to be leaders and activist during these exciting times. We are actively involved in the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, the North American Blueberry Council, Oregon Blueberry commission and California Blueberry Commission, working to promote blueberries and strengthen the industry. HBF is proud to be a leader in the growth of our industry.
Loyalty – We are grower advocates. Our business model recognizes that every step of the supply chain must be profitable in order to maintain market health and sustain growth. Many of our core growers have been associated with Hurst’s Berry Farm for over 25 years. As we grow our company, we build and sustain relationships with companies that share our core values and understand that loyalty and partnerships are critical to long term success.
Excellence – It is often said that the sales and marketing plans get customers to buy, and quality keeps them buying. HBF International has made quality top priority in our operations. As we continue to expand our marketing program, we will work closely with our customers and growers to maintain excellence in quality.
HBF International offers a wider selection of fresh berries than any other major berry shipper. Buyers throughout the world recognize HBF as the year-round source for fresh berries, including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and more. (Check our Products page for information on what’s available now.)
To provide fresh berries throughout the year, we grow several different varieties that ripen at different times on our farms in Oregon, Washington, California and Mexico, and we source additional berries from our grower-partners in Canada and South America.
Food safety has been at the center of discussions involving fresh produce. HBF is working closely with all of our growers and packers to ensure compliance with food safety standards. We also review our procedures regularly and update them as necessary.
With an ever-expanding product line, we are constantly on the lookout for new varieties and types of fresh berries. If we can’t get the quality we need from the existing varieties, we will often experiment with other varieties. And if we can’t get the quality we need from existing suppliers . . . we grow it ourselves.
The newest addition to our product line, the kiwi berry, is one of the most exciting new fruits to come into the produce department in a long time. These miniature kiwi fruits are now being grown here on the farm.
HBF’s commitment to excellence extends to the packing room, where only the highest quality berries are carefully packed. Fresh berries coming in from the fields are cooled in state-of-the-art vacuum cooling facilities. This ensures that HBF customers receive firmer, higher quality berries with an extended shelf life. Quality inspection through every step of the packing process means none but the best berries make it into a Hurst’s package.
We have been a leader in new package design and intend to carry that leadership into the future. We work closely with packaging vendors to incorporate the latest innovations into our packaging. In 1991 it became clear that the plastic clamshell with its improved ventilation and recycled material was essential to maintaining a premium package.
To meet customers’ demands we now offer multiple sizes of clamshells, depending on the product. As an example, our blueberries can be packed in five-pound, two-pound, pint and half-pint sized clamshells. And, of course, we can custom pack to meet your specific needs.
Customers rely on HBF for on-time deliveries. We work with several transportation companies whose core focus is the handling and transportation of fresh fruit. Their air-freight containers are insulated and filled with gel-ice packs to maintain the berries’ freshness. You can count on HBF International for products that arrive fresh, cool and on time.