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MARKETS AND TRENDS

Second wave of California figs brings more volume
The California fig season started strong with great sizing and quality. While bigger sizing brought optimism to retailers looking for a premium at checkout, a lack of volume kept figs from being promotable. The second season is also sizing well with the bonus of more volume, according to Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager for Stellar Distributing, based in Madera,... Read more
On July 6, the f.o.b. price on a carton of 48 size California avocados was as high as $56 with many different factors entered into that demand-exceeds-supply equation, which is expected to prevail through July. In this early July marketing period, among the many reasons for that very strong market were a history-making heat wave in California in June, Peru’s... Read more
Some fairly high temperatures in June were followed by lower-than-normal daily averages in early July causing California’s lettuce production to be light and prices high. The hot weather hit in mid-June, causing some quality issues as well as lighter heads resulting in less yields by the end of the month. The market began to tighten the last week of June... Read more
From potatoes to tomatoes the North Carolina summer produce season is in full swing with ample volume and great quality across a variety of crops. In fact, one could say North Carolina is in the midst of a perfect summer produce season. With tomatoes, potatoes, beans, squash, corn, sweet potatoes, watermelons, cantaloupe and greens all coming into full flush,... Read more
Farmers in the Garden State have been growing peaches since the early 1600s. This proud heritage has been providing ripe locally grown peaches long before Jersey Fresh or “food miles” ever came along. Today, Jersey Fresh peaches are grown within 250 miles of 45 million consumers. This is significant because peaches grown closer to their market have... Read more
Strong summer citrus season expected in 2016
Southern Hemisphere citrus continues to increase in the United States as consumers are becoming more accustomed to purchasing citrus year-round and the quality and taste continue to improve. Kathy Hearl, marketing promotions manager for DNE World Fruit LLC, headquartered in Fort Pierce, FL, said that as Navel oranges, minneolas and clementines all increase in... Read more
Garlic industry on the rebound from El Niño year
Following a year that saw all kinds of El Niño-related weather events — from floods to droughts to tornados — that wreaked havoc on a number of crops, members of the U.S. garlic industry are anxious to move forward with more predictable weather and production. “Harvest has begun and the crop is looking much better than last year,”... Read more
Mother Nature was kind to Michigan’s produce industry this spring. Approaching the first days of summer, vegetable growers reported a bright outlook for all crops. The fruit industry, of course, also benefited from great weather. Riveridge Produce Marketing Inc., a fruit grower-packer-shipper in Sparta, MI, reported, “Pollination, with the help of... Read more
This may be the one time having the blues is healthy for you. Sweet, succulent and juicy. Blueberries from the Pacific Northwest are nature’s answer to what may ail you. The region’s blueberry harvest is already under way, and Oregon and Washington are fully prepared to meet ever-growing consumer demand for this perfect superfruit. Bryan Ostlund,... Read more
With temperatures expected to reach as high as 126 degrees today, Peter Rabbit Farms in Coachella, CA, is keeping its workers out of the fields. “It’s just too hot. It’s dangerous,” said John Burton, the firm’s general manager. He said it is expected to be 10 degrees cooler on Tuesday. “We’ll send the crews out at daybreak... Read more
California grape production continues to set the bar high
Fresh grape production in California continues to supply global consumers with a premium standard that has set the bar high. Looking at production during 2015, Barry Bedwell, president of the California Fresh Fruit Association told The Produce News, “We had 110.5 million boxes of grapes.” This bodes well for an industry, which set a record for 2014... Read more
LIMA — Shipments of Peruvian Hass avocados to the United States are projected at 100 million pounds in 2016, roughly the equivalent of the volume shipped last year. The United States will receive about 25 percent of the Hass avocados grown for export in Peru, with the remaining 300 million pounds destined for Europe and other markets, according to Xavier... Read more
Chile’s first Navels of 2016 headed to U.S. market
Chile’s first 2016 shipment of Navels to the United States departed from the port of San Antonio during Week 22, one week earlier than last year. A total of 7,960 boxes were shipped to the U.S. market. Ninety-five percent of Week 22 Navel exports were of the Fukumoto variety, with 5 percent Navel Late. This is just the beginning of what the Chilean citrus... Read more
Changing weather conditions do seem to have altered normal cropping patterns for many different commodities. But one thing hasn’t changed: Summer is marked by generally warmer weather, which means promotable supplies. At least that is the story being told by strawberry growers in Watsonville, New Jersey blueberry producers, lettuce growers in Salinas and... Read more
Despite a federal water allocation of only 5 percent of contracted deliveries, California’s San Joaquin Valley melon deal is expected to have typical volume this year and to be on time, with a start date near the end of June. Over the last several years, California’s drought has threatened the size of the crop but farmers always seemed to find the... Read more
Strong mango volume opens door for retail opportunities
The National Mango Board is encouraging retailers and suppliers to act quickly to move more mangos due to the high import volumes. This year the summer mango season had a later start than in recent years, but volumes are extremely strong now. "Retailers should not miss this amazing opportunity to move great mango volumes and delight their customers with this... Read more
Mango shipments from Mexico lagged behind normal volume in the February, March and April time period leading to a demand exceeds supply situation and high prices during the first part of the 2016 Mexican mango season. That is no longer the case.  “Hopefully, we have hit the bottom,” said Chief Operating Officer Gary Clevenger of Freska Produce... Read more
The 2016 New Jersey produce season is under way and should be highlighted by good quantities of high-quality produce. According to New Jersey State Climatologist David Robinson of Rutgers University, “Mild and dry conditions prevailed throughout the Garden State during most of March.” This included record-breaking early-season warmth, with the statewide... Read more
California new potato crop finding good demand
The two big stories out of California’s Kern County potato deal this year are that there is a fairly good market and there are no russet potatoes. The russet deal, which was the core of the California fresh potato industry for decades, has been in decline for 20 years and finally it is no more. A survey of the acreage revealed no russet acreage this year.... Read more
Cherry marketing insights for retailers
With the approaching Northwest cherry season, two tree fruit producers are urging retailers to flesh out the details of their programs to ensure maximum rings at the register. Steve Lutz, Columbia Marketing International’s vice president of marketing, is looking for a shorter peak window during the 2016 cherry season. He provided a chart that shows retail... Read more