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Fresh from the Field

This week’s fresh update

April 17, 2018 | Volume 5, Issue 17

Conventional Vegetables

We are starting to see the growing regions transition from Northern Mexico. We are also starting to see some new fields from the Obregon & Southern Baja regions of Mexico. Quality is very good and volume is in ample supply to support promotions.

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You should see more availability this week, causing prices to fall. California and Mexico are both shipping. By the week’s end, larger sizes should be available.

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Broccoli & Cauliflower

John.Tillman@robinsonfresh.com

North Florida and Georgia crops are both off to a slow start. Good supply is available from Mexico with slight amounts of hollow stem. Cold weather in the west is strengthening the California market.

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Cabbage supply continues to remain strong in Texas, with the market being soft. Florida is wrapping up their season and supplies have become very tight. Georgia is behind schedule due to the cold weather.

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Oxnard is the primary shipping point for celery out of California. Production in the northern California growing region is steadily increasing with good quality and color. There are great supplies coming from the Oxnard area with some promotable volume available. Quality is reported as very good with no major defects listed.

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We are seeing additional availability out of Southern California and Northern Mexico this week. Prices are similar to last week, with shippers offering some flex. We should start seeing additional volume next week.

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Steady supply available on all varieties. Quality is good in all shipping locations.

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Warmer weather in the southern region has increased growth rates and pushed product forward bringing the season to a close later this week. Product in the northern region is reported as clean with occasional small sizing. Oxnard, Santa Maria and Salinas are the primary shipping points for Iceberg lettuce off the west coast.

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The northern region had rain yesterday and today which has delayed production. Overall quality is good with occasional insect damage but mostly clean with good weights. Green and red leaf are stable with good quality and production is increasing daily in the north. Salinas, Santa Maria, Oxnard and Yuma are the primary shipping points for Leaf lettuces off the west coast.

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Mexican grown onions, in plentiful sizes and colors, are crossing into Texas. There’s a great opportunity to make deals on Jumbos/Colossals and Supers. The Northwest has a few weeks left in the season so it’s a great time to make deals in this region as well. Time to promote from either area!
*Updated 3/20/18

Russet – mainly driven by what Idaho and Colorado have left, and if reports are true, the market is about to tighten. The market is up 30%, year-over-year. The new Russet crop will not ease the short market as no real volume will be available until 1st August out of Eastern Washington.
Reds – Skagit Valley Washington, is almost done. Quality is getting poor out of Colorado, and the only fall crop of any quantity remaining is out of the Red River Valley where they expect to be shipping well in to June. Prices are low for these potatoes. A new crop of reds out of Florida have just started and prices are down from a year ago.
Yellows – Skagit Valley and Colorado are almost done, and the new Florida crop has just started. It is likely that the new crop in California will be light on yield and small on size due to frost damage which will have an effect on prices.

Squash markets have reacted out west (Mexico) and Florida. Prices higher and volume limited. Quality making an influence based on weather conditions. Mexico had strong winds last week. Volume was lighter this week and prices higher. In Florida many shippers pulled the plug as markets and demand could not support the cost. Central Florida is starting to break new fields. South Georgia starting new fields as well. Demand exceeds supply and prices are high. Prices should be on the higher side for the next 7 days out of both growing regions.
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Good volume of corn available and quality is excellent. Now is the time to promote as we start moving into warmer weather.
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Conventional Fruits

Export business was very good this past week. Up 250 truckloads compared to a year ago same week. Markets are fairly steady overall. A few New Zealand galas have arrived on the East Coast.

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Mexico

Mexico continues to be the main supplier for US market (80%+). Inbound volumes out of Mexico reported on HAB were 1170 loads that crossed the border into the US. This week is projected to be slightly less close to 1000. Demand continues to be strong, especially on 48’s, 60’s and 70’s. Tree crops are starting to report good supply but some of the fruit is dehydrating and showing more signs of scarring and damage. We continue to see supply switching to larger size profiles. Additionally the internal market and other international markets other than United States are consuming the small fruit and paying higher prices. Next big date to promote avocados is 5 de Mayo, movement during the month of April will be high. Dry matter percentage levels are higher at this point of season and ripening time for fruit is good. We are entering into the latter part of regular bloom crop and starting to see darker fruit, Negra fruit estimated for June 30 ending date. Temperatures on transportation, storage and handling needs to be watched closely. 38-39 F.

California

California Harvest is increasing this month. This week projected to harvest over 310 loads vs 270 last week. Fruit quality reported to be really clean and good. Growers have been waiting for market to improve at higher levels to harvest heavier and is projected to increase every week. This season is estimated to be 20% more than last year’s crop. Some fruit is being exported to Asia. Most of California fruit is staying in the West side of the United States. Size profiles for California fruit is in the 48/60/70 sizes. Exports are increasing to Asia.

Peru

Peru new crop is here, dry matter is at much desired level to harvest and export, we are starting to see exports to US or Asia this week. Volumes will start going up in May and at peak in June, some fields will be ending in July and a few will extend to August harvest. This season will be larger than last years and quality is reported to be much better. The size profile in the fields are showing that this season will have predominantly mid to large size avocados. 40/48’s. We will see large volumes of Peruvian fruit in the United States this season.

Chile

No shipments reported, they are finished for this season. Colombia Shipments to the US had started slowly. They are working issues with certifications and permits in fields to export. Dry matter in some areas have reached minimums for export. Small fruit profile is what it will be more prevalent.

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Florida Blueberries are coming in STRONG in Florida! Supply is ramping up quickly, looking to move for the end of the week loading! Come and get your Welch’s Florida 12/6oz Blueberries! Good supply, great quality! Blackberries and Raspberries remain tight as ads for mix berries were put in place due to lack of Strawberries. However we are still on the low part of the production cycle so both items are fairly tight. We would suggest holding off on ads for Blacks & Raspberries until late-April, early May as that’s when we are expected to see more volume coming on.

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Cantaloupes from offshore suppliers are available on both coasts and there is a good distribution of sizing as well… Look for fair but less than previous week’s supply of cantaloupes to be available this week and next… No big changes are expected on supply or demand of cantaloupes for the next couple of weeks. Nogales due to begin in two weeks.

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California Navels

The California rains had finally stopped, but came back again this weekend. This weather is finally taking its toll on regular navels and the fruit is starting to show what kind of season this has been with the changing weather from temperatures being hot then cold and then rain. The fruit is getting pliable and bright orange, but still eating very well. The industry is about 80% harvested on regular navels and are pushing hard to finish harvesting. Most varieties being harvested now on regular navels are Attwood’s and Washington’s. The size structure is still running 72, 56, 48, 88 and fruit is at full color. Utilization is dropping to 80% with 65% Fancy and 15 % choice. The summer navels are being harvested for export and with export slowing down we will start to see more summer navels on the domestic market. The summer navels size structure is 72, 56, 48, 88, 40 and brix are at 12.5 to 11.5 and color is great with a tinge of green and condition is still good.

California Lemons

The California D1 lemon season is starting to wine down with only a few shippers still packing D1 lemons and they plan on finishing in 3-4 weeks. As the D1 season is finishing the D2 season is ramping up harvest. The weather has taken its toll on the D1 and D2 lemon crop with the rain, cold and hot weather. The fruit quality is starting to change, starting to see more pliable and bronze lemons, but there are still a few good lemon ranches out there. They are in great demand and the season is moving along nicely. The lemon size structure is 140, 115, 95, and 165. Utilization on lemons is still about 75% with 60% fancy and 15% choice.

California Mandarins

The Murcotts crop is over 83 % harvested and demand has not slowed down at all. The weather has also taken its toll on the Murcotts. The fruit is more pliable and seeing more hollow centers which means fruit is getting more and more pliable. The eating quality has not changed and fruit is still eating really well and the demand is great. The brix are between 14.0 to 16.0 and we will have to see how fruit holds up after this weekend rains. With this weather most shipper are going to try to wrap up the season by the end of April. The size structure right now is 28, 24, 32, 36, 18 and also growing. Utilization is still at about 80% to 90%

Grapefruit

The California grapefruit season is well underway and with export in great demand for California grapefruit most shippers have started to ramp up harvest. They are harvesting heavy volume and the demand is very high right now and fruit has great eating quality. The California grapefruit size structure is 40, 36, 48, 32, 56 and brix are running at about 12.5 to 14.0.

California Valencias

The Valencia’s season is getting closer and starting to see more harvesting of Valencias and is mostly for export, but getting inquiries for domestic market. The test are coming up and are now at 7.9 acid to sugar ratio and the brix are about 10.5 to 12.0, but the eating quality is not quite there yet. The fruit size structure on Valencias right now is 113, 88, 138, 72, but with the amount of rain we saw in March that size structure could be changing.

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We will see significantly less volume arriving from South America and any fruit that does needs to pass US #1 standards. Before the marketing order took place there were large volumes of Crimson red seedless and lighter volumes of storage Thompson green grapes to last the rest of the season before we make the transition to Mexico in early May. Red grape prices will remain steady while the price of green grapes will be increasing and have larger ranges depending on size and quality. Black and globes are available in light supply as well to complete the grape category.

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Honeydew supply is fair. Supplies are a bit lighter than last week. We have Mexican dews in Nogales, Arizona for another week or so… Dews also coming from Honduras both in Florida and in California. We should see decent supplies for the balance of the week and also next week. Quality overall is very nice with good sugar…

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Our limes are growing in eastern Mexico, and the current crop shows excellent quality with good green color. We are currently peaking on 200s with fair availability on 175s and very light supplies on 110s/150s. We are in the early stages of the next crop and have promotable volume on 230s.

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Mangos are being imported from Mexico. The Tommy Atkins and Haden varieties of red mangos with Tommy Atkins peaking on 10’s and 12’s and Haden peaking on 12’s and 14’s. The quality is good on both but the Hadens do have a little more scarring. The Ataulfo or Honey mangos are peaking on 18’s and 22’s with firm texture and clean appearance.

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Lighter supplies the past 2 weeks as growing region experienced heavy rains and overcast, cloudy weather, causing fruit not to mature as rapidly. Better weather this week with volume projected to increase upwards. In Mid- April. Markets are remaining high due to low production. Expect this trend to continue as well. Quality is excellent, with size profile mostly 9s & 12s.

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Bosc inventory is getting very small. Latest report show 4% left of the crop as of April 6th in the NW. A few imported Packham pears have arrived from Chile.

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Pineapple

Pineapple (Offshore)
Gustavo.Lora@robinsonfresh.com
Very good pineapple weather reported at our farms in Costa Rica with no reports on port delays at this time. Quality is noted as excellent, shell color at .5-1 and solid 14+ brixs are reported on all farms. USDA shows an increase in volume but not very significant. For week 14 at 750 loads up from week 12 at 700 loads inbound from Costa Rica. Availability offered at our farms remains strong with yields continuing to improve on all counts with and expected spike in supply coming after week 20 packing. Same conditions reported by USDA as about steady market with moderate demand.

Pineapple (Mexican)
Jiovani.Guevara@robinsonfresh.com
Mexican Pineapples. – Veracruz and Tabasco are the main to growing regions for pineapples in Mexico and mostly cross thru the border entries in the state of Texas. We expect good supplies for the next three week. Both external and internal quality are good, with brix levels reporting 13% plus. Sizing is expected to peak on 5 and 6ct with limited supplies of 8ct. Supply is exceeding demand on large fruit and it will be that way for the next couple of weeks.

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Rain and hail storms in the Salinas growing area on Monday have postponed harvesting. Light rains in Santa Maria were causing berries to be picked with water on the fruit and in the packs. With the exception of some passing showers on Thursday morning in Santa Maria and Oxnard, the weather should be mostly sunny for the California growing regions. Santa Maria area was seeing nice quality fruit with good size. Oxnard fruit is running smaller, with most fruit it the low 20’s. There should be good availably in the coming weeks as long as the weather cooperates.

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Supplies on seedless are good and minis will be a little tight in April. Supplies on Minis will pick up in May when Northern Mexico and Florida pick up in volume. Supplies on seedless will pick up in the next couple of weeks out of Florida and Mexico. The quality from Mexico has been ok some lots have lower brix. Florida has excellent quality. There are some offshore seedless and minis on the east coast and west coast as well. Florida is going and volume will pick up in May. Arcadia Florida is starting a bit this week.

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Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Imported Organic Gala’s will arrive the first week of May on both Coasts. WA state has set a record crop of organic apples for the 2017/2018 season. Supply heavily outweighs demand out of Washington State. Quality on the crop out of the southern hemisphere is expected be very good for supply through the summer months.

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Organic Consolidation

Bob.Stone@chrobinson.com

We continue to maintain fresh inventory at the LASC on organic Cinacia French Fingerling, Anya, and Russian Banana variety potatoes, We also have organic 16x 3lb Russets and organic 16 x 3 gold spuds. Additionally we have had more Costa Rican organic pineapple land. They are all 8ct but we can give you a very HOT price. Wednesday will see the arrival of a limited amount of organic 30lb cases of small limes. The market is red hot and if you want some you should get your pre-orders in. The rains continues to fall in the Salinas area but the only crop really impacted is the berry crop as other regions are not producing at this time. We hope to have some deals on blueberries shortly which can be used to fill up empty strawberry space allocations. However as we mentioned last week there are hearty greens continuing to come out of the desert; The fields of the Kern River basin around Bakersfield are producing very well, and the central Salinas Valley is coming along with the Salinas River still flowing because of all the rains further north. This continues to create a situation of too much supply and too little demand, again this makes it the perfect time for some hot pricing. There are some great deals to be had out there, but just like last week one would have to travel the length and breadth of the state to fill all your needs. Let us take care of your sourcing and consolidate the product at the LASC. And given the product coming out of the new areas of MX, with new harvests on several items, including hard squahes, cukes, zukes, and bells, and as if this is not enough, US valencias are starting to ramp up along with lemons and grapefruit, all available to load at the LASC. Stop and think of how we can increase our Company’s value to your customer. You can offer them, with one stop: Potatoes, Tropicals (Pineapples and soon Mangoes), all of your Wet Veg needs (even that hard to find stuff), Dry Veg, and Citrus, ALL IN ONE STOP. We can consolidate it for you and have it ready for your truck, and with freight rates where they are, it makes much more sense to use a consolidate point for your product instead of giving your truck 4 or 5 picks. Good Selling!

Organic Dry Vegetables

John.Pursel@robinsonfresh.com

Our organic mini sweet pepper production is ramping back up. They are loading at Robinson Fresh Service Center in San Bernardino in 1 lb. as well as 8oz bags – now is the time to promote! We are currently planting in Florida and Georgia. Due to the cooler weather our estimated harvest will begin early May.

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There is strong supply on organic lemons out of the southern District D2. General pricing has decreased from last week due to oversupply. Peak sizing is on 140/165/115ct fancy with roughly 85% of the crop as fancy and 15% choice. Quality has been great with minimal scarring and good color.

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Awaiting the start of some light supplies of organic minis by the middle of the month. Specifically we should see some organic minis starting next week…There will only be light and sporadic supplies as no one grower has any major volume here… Northern Mexico growers are who will be providing this crop, loading in Nogales, Arizona.

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Our organic onions and shallots are done for the season. Thank you everyone for your support and looking forward to next season.

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Organic Oranges

Tom.Ashcroft@chrobinson.com

Organic Navels & Valencia The organic navel crop is just about over with very few shippers still having very little volume left to finish the season. Most shippers are finished and a few going into mid to late April. The size structure is 72, 56, 48, 88 and the eating quality is great. Brix readings are at about 13.0 to 15.0 and fruit is holding up really well on the market.

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Domestic supply of organic pears has come to an end. Imports of organic Bartletts have landed on both coast and D’Anjou’s are available on the West Coast. Quality is excellent and good supplies are expected to last through early summer.

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Organic Russet potatoes still in good supply. Market is holding steady right now with an occasional deal out there from some growers looking to clean up varieties that do not hold as well. We are still packing Cintennial’s and they look great. Organic Red potatoes are finished for the season. Organic Yellow Potatoes are going strong and should be available through April. Organic Apache potatoes are available out of Warden, Washington and look very good. Packing these in 3# bags and 20# cartons. Organic Fingerling potatoes from Colorado are still looking good and supply is hold up well right now.

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Change in growing areas has affected some of the size availability on organic squash. Prices will be on the rise until supply can catch up to demand.

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Organic Sweet Potatoes

Chris.Lemmon@robinsonfresh.com

Organic sweet potatoes are currently shipping storage crop. California and Arkansas market is steady and holding the last couple of weeks. The North Carolina market currently has a little flex, but will tighten in late April. Now is the time to lock down your holiday volumes to ensure run times and fill. Our pack sizes available are 2lb – 10lb bag, Mediums, US#1 and Jumbo’s.

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Transportation

Plan for ample lead time and flexibility where possible in loading/delivery times, specifically in south Texas.
Northeast: Recommend 24 hours lead-time in Northeast
Southeast: Recommend 24-48 hours lead-time in Southeast
Midwest: Recommend 24-48 hours lead-time in Midwest
South: Recommend 48-72 hours lead-time in South Texas
Northwest: Recommend 48-72 hours lead-time in Northwest
West: Recommended 24 hours lead-time in West
John.Stenderup@chrobinson.com

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Fresh from the kitchen

SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GREENS CHICKEN ROLL-UPS

Ingredients

  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can Glory Foods Simply Seasoned Turnip Greens, drained
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes seasoned with Italian herbs
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta pr goat cheese
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar chicken gravy

… More at: Sun-Dried Tomato & Greens Chicken Roll-Ups

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