A Market Analysis for Berry Crops in Virginia
This thesis analyzes the potential for producers in Virginia to successfully participate in the market for berry crops, which include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and other novelty berries. A survey of current berry crop producers in Virginia is used to gain insight into the supply-side of the market, and a series of personal interviews with direct market berry crop producers and buyers from retail, wholesale, and processor outlets are conducted to assess the demand-side of the market. The results show that berry crop producers in the state are diverse along many dimensions, with certain groups better positioned to serve the unsaturated demand that exists through direct outlets and others better aligned to serve the increasing demand that exists among indirect buyers. Diversification into berry crop production involves high levels of risk, but the potential returns are likewise high.