Greenpoint Distributing Inc. in Nogales, AZ, offers a wide assortment of products and has added several new items to the mix this year. In addition, the company has increases in some items for the 2012-13 Nogales season, according to Rick Burkett, sales director for the company. “I’ve got a plateful of commodities,” Mr. Burkett said. “We have a little bit of everything for all parts of the country and all ethnic groups. We’ll see if we can take advantage of our position, offering a full line to make it easy for our customers to load in one spot.”
This season, Greenpoint is “pretty much on pace with what we were doing last year” with regard to Mexico-grown products, Mr. Burkett told The Produce News.
In hard squash, for example, “I don’t see a change.” Greenpoint is “one of the bigger houses in town when it comes to hard squash,” ad currently “we are right at the pace we were last year,” he said. “We started hard squash a couple of weeks ago, and we should have steady supplies until sometime in early to mid-June.”
The company has several mainstream hard squash varieties as well as some specialty varieties, two of which are new this year. The mainstream hard squash varieties are Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, Kabocha and Banana.
New for the company last year, in the pumpkin category, was Fairytale pumpkin, so named for its resemblance to the pumpkin that was converted to a coach in the story of Cinderella. “That went over very well,” Mr. Burkett said. This year, Greenpoint has added the Cinderella squash, which derived its name in the same way, as well as the Long Island Cheese squash, named for its resemblance to a cheese wheel.
Once again this year, Greenpoint will have available “plenty of sweet corn,” Mr. Burkett said. “Last year, we were one of the biggest sweet corn exporters out of Mexico, and we have increased our volume there, probably close to 10 percent” for the 2012-13 season. The sweet corn will start around Dec. 5, and supplies will be available until “close to mid-April, possibly longer, depending on market conditions.” The majority of the sweet corn is coming out of Obregon in the state of Sonora, but some is coming out of the Guasave area of northern Sinaloa.
In the soft squash deal, “we are very well set up with our growers,” Mr. Burkett said. “We’ve got a crop we are currently harvesting out of Hermosillo.” The same grower also has fields in Guaymas, so “when Hermosillo finishes up, we will move down to Guaymas. that will carry us to January, February and March,” and the harvest will then transition back up to Hermosillo for the spring deal.
Greenpoint will have hot peppers again “as we did last year,” he said. “the majority of them will probably come in the spring, but we will have them all winter long.” The varieties are Anaheim Caribe, Jalapeño and Serrano.
In addition, the company will have “a nice, steady supply of tomatillos to go along with the hot pepper category,” he said. “We started in October, and we will have those all the way through June.”
In the cucumber category, Greenpoint will have regular cucumbers as well as Euro cukes, pickles and Persian cucumbers. “We started shipping [the regular cucumbers] last month [October], and we will have cucumbers into late April and May. We have had more volume early” than in the past, “and I think we’ll see more volume late when it comes to the cucumbers,” he said.
The company started harvesting Euro cukes late October and will continue with them to the middle or end of April, he said.
“We also started pickles,” he said. That deal has a shorter window, with supplies available November through January. Volume should be about the same this year as last.
“We are doing Persians currently. We started those about three weeks ago,” he said. “I will have Persians into the end of January.”
Greenpoint has green bell peppers as well, and “this year we will see a little bit of an increase in our green bell crossings for the spring,” Mr. Burkett said. Additionally, “we will have protected environment colored peppers out of Mexico.”
New for the company will be oriental vegetables. “This year, we are going to dabble in oriental vegetables,” Mr. Burkett said.
Another item handled by Greenpoint is Roma tomatoes. “Roma tomatoes, for us, are basically a spring deal,” he said. “We start those mid to late March, and that will continue into early June.”
Also for the springtime, the company will have some seedless watermelon, he said.
All of the Mexico-grown products ship from the company’s Nogales facility, he said.