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Fresh from the Field

This week’s fresh update

December 12, 2017 | Volume 4, Issue 48

Conventional Vegetables

The market is stronger out west on product out of Mexico. Demand is light with good supplies from both Mexico and Peru. We continue to have Green Giant™ Fresh label available on Peruvian product in Miramar, Florida. Volume out of Mexico will start to drop the second half of December as they experience lower temperatures in the growing regions.

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Markets slightly down from last week, although there is more availability out of Mexico. We should see a steady supply for the week.

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Broccoli & Cauliflower

Ryan.Baird@robinsonfresh.com

Supplies are meeting demand for broccoli and cauliflower right now. There are some good promotions going on with broccoli and cauliflower going into the holiday pull. Demand has improved while supplies have remained relatively consistent. Broccoli and cauliflower are available in Santa Maria, Mendota, and Yuma.

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North Carolina, Georgia and Texas have steady volumes and quality is great. Florida is about 3-4 weeks from starting.

*Updated 12/5/17

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Salinas, Santa Maria and Oxnard, California are the primary shipping points for celery. Supply continues to meet demand while quality is reported as very nice with good color and texture.

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The market is relatively similar to last week. There is plenty of volume coming out of Mexico. We should continue to see good availability throughout the week.

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The Glory Greens supply outlook is currently steady, all varieties have great quality and steady available out of Georgia. We have started organic kale out of Georgia. We anticipate a great season! It is a great time to promote with Christmas and New Year’s coming up.

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Yuma, Arizona and the Imperial Valley, California are the primary shipping points for Iceberg Lettuce off the west coast. Demand remains low for this part of the year as winter weather across the eastern states has dampened appetites for Iceberg lettuce. Temperatures in southwest growing region have cooled slightly but overnight lows remain above average and continue to push product ahead of schedule. Quality is reported as good with very occasional burst and over mature product reported.

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Yuma, Arizona and the Imperial Valley, California are the primary shipping points for leaf lettuces off the west coast. Last week we had our first couple mornings with light lettuce ice and it looks like the seeder issues are subsiding. Supply remains plentiful this week as demand is expected to increase with holiday demand. Quality reports from the southern growing regions are reported as good with very occasional seeder.

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Not much change in the onion story this week. There is good supply in the northwest with promotable deals to be made on medium sized onions. However, the freight rates are still a higher cost than the purchase price of the produce.

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Cooler weather in the Southeast has slowed down production and helped firm up FOB’s. Demand is starting to exceed supply on both zucchini and yellow squash. Western production is following suite and prices have firmed up. Demand and pricing should continue to increase for the next 7 days.

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Watch for better availability on corn as we move into the end of the week. More regular volume should become available in the next week.

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Tomatoes (Mexican)

Tomatoes are very active and short. This will last for a couple of weeks until January when better volume and pricing becomes available.

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Conventional Fruits

Export out of Washington has been better than the last couple years this last month. Shipments are up. Honeycrisp market sales were perking up last week. The majority of the shippers in Michigan are done for the season or sold out on Honeys. Northeast growers are also winding down, although there are still growers who will ship into January.

*Updated 12/5/17

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Mexico
Mexico is the main supplier for US market. Inbound volumes out of Mexico have been limited in the past weeks. The municipalities have local groups that determine how much fruit will be allowed to harvest and export to the US. Their effort has been to control and stabilize the market a little better, however in between seeking the right balance of supply and demand, we have experienced an increase in markets. They will have to continue finding the right balance while considering the holidays and limitations associated with limited harvesting time. Crops on the trees are reported to be healthy with good supplies. At the time, we are starting to see a little more availability on all sizes, but the curve shows more 48’s. Dry matter levels are good and quality and ability to ripen fruit is good as well. We are in the regular bloom crop in December through quarter 1 of 2018.
California
This year’s season is complete. The new crop can start as early as December, however the area suffered from wild fires and several fields in the areas of Ventura, Oxnard and surrounding areas were burned. Final reports are pending to show how much of the crop was affected. This will delay harvesting California fruit. The new crop out of California is estimated to be larger this new season. We will have a better idea of volume after the fires are under control.
Peru
We are awaiting for new crop next year. Normally it starts in February or March with green skin fruit (Fuertes variety).
Chile
We are into the second half of the crop in Chile. We are seeing the effect of early rain in the season, as the crop is showing fruit coloring faster than other seasons. We expect some dark blush on the fruit. Shipments to the US continue steady but has lowered due to the changes in Mexican pricings. A lot of the Chilean fruit is being exported to other markets such as Europe and Asia.
Colombia
The first shipments have arrived to the US, with a few more coming but not in significant volume. The fruit is reported to be good flavor, quality and has promising outlook. More farms will be certified to ship to the US in January 2018.

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Mexican Blueberries continue to move, while Argentina is nearly done and Chilean pints are slow to start but expected to ramp up quickly. Much of the inbound fruit from Chile will move to the 12/1pt and 8/18oz pack style. Chile will continue to fly fruit over the next few weeks as vessels are slated to arrive starting 12/19/17.
Mexican Blackberries are coming across in limited volume, expectations are that volume will start to increase in late December.
Mexican Raspberries continue to cross with good availability and quality- we are on the back side of this current production cycle, so pricing will start to trend up into the New Year and back down afterwards as we move into the next cycle. There is still good availability and quality.

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Domestic cantaloupe supply has finished for the season. Offshore cantaloupe arrivals have begun in the East with better volume anticipated next week. We will see some arrivals in Houston later this week and Los Angeles as early as next week.

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Update California Navels
The California navel has been a roller coaster ride. Harvesting started fast with there being a gap in supply the demand was high. The harvesting slowed down because inventories have built up pretty fast now with export starting up, harvesting has peaked again. The gas time is down to 24 – 48 hours of gas time. The fruit is still peaking 88, 113, 138, 72 on the Fukumoto’s and TI and 72, 56, 88, 48 on the Becks. The brix are coming along and are 11.5 to 13.0 and eating quality is getting better. The quality has been good because of great harvesting conditions. The nights are getting colder which is helping not only the color, but should help to firm up the fruit.
Update California lemons
The D-1 lemon season is really starting to pick up with the demand being good for both domestic and export. The lemon size structure is 165, 140, 115, 95 and quality is great. The weather is perfect to bring on color sooner and increase volume harvested.
Update California Mandarins
The Clementine’s season is at full speed now with great demand and with color coming on the quality is great to start the season. The size structure right now is 32, 28, 36, 24 so most shipper are out trying to size pick to get bigger sizes. The gas time is about 60 hours right now and the fruit quality is looking good and eating quality is great.
Update Texas Grapefruit
The Texas grapefruit season is well underway with the harvesting of heavy volume and demand very high right now with great eating quality. Texas should have a big season. The size structure is 48, 40, 56, 36. The Texas grapefruit export is getting underway in the next 2 weeks as gas time is coming down.
Update Organic Navels
The organic navel season has started with good volume being harvested right now and fruit is looking good. The gas time is down to 36 to 60 hrs. The size structure right now is 88, 113, 72, 56. The eating quality is great and fruit is holding up really well on the market.
Update on Organic Lemons
The organic lemon harvesting is underway with great demand on the organic lemons. The fruit is taking about 48 hours of gas time. The size structure should be 95, 115, 140, 75 and the quality is looking very good right now.

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We continue to see good quality as we enter the final weeks of the California grape season. Red and green grapes will continue to be available for the next 2 weeks out of California before the import season really takes off. Initial vessels arrived to the east coast from Peru last week with limited volume of Crimson Red and Thompson Green varieties available this week. We are seeing nice quality on these early arrivals despite the rain in Peru earlier in growing season which gives us a lot of confidence as we begin the make the transition over the next couple of weeks. The market is high for the first imports as it is not uncommon to see double-digit increases when compared to the California market.

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Honeydews still have steady supply. Mexican grown honeydews coming from Hermosillo, Mexico are showing decent and demand is good. There are no significant volume increases expected in the next two weeks as the Mexican-grown supply finishes. The offshore dews are starting up on the east coast in a very light way.

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Our limes are grown in eastern Mexico, and the current crop shows excellent quality with good green color. We are currently peaking on 175s/200s with fair availability on 110s and 150s. Supplies on smaller sizes (230s/250s) are expected to start increasing in availability towards the end of the month as we begin the next crop.

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Mango supplies are good with sizing peaking on small fruit. Ecuador is now in full swing with good supplies arriving to the US. The sizing is currently peaking on 10 and 12 count and the quality of the fruit is good. The larger sizes are still limited in volume but supply has improved as compared to previous weeks. Most of the mangos arriving from Ecuador are Tommy Atkins variety, but we are also beginning to see the Kent variety. Now is the time to be promoting mangos.

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There has been lighter supply the past 2 weeks as growing regions experienced heavy rains and overcast, cloudy weather, causing fruit not to mature as rapidly. There was better weather this week with volumes projected to move upwards. In mid-December, we expect to see 8-10 loads per week with volume sustainable. Markets are remaining high due to low production. Expect this trend to continue. Quality is excellent, with size profile mostly 9s & 12s currently.

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On December 1st storage reports came out with the following information:
Anjous has 7.1 million this year as compared to 5.6 million at the same time last year same time.
Bosc has 1.75 million this year as compared to 2.1 million last year.
Bartletts has 1.1 million left this year as compared to 1.4 million last year.

*Updated 12/5/17

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Pineapple

Pineapple (Offshore)

Gustavo.Lora@robinsonfresh.com

Weather in Costa Rica is reported as mostly cloudy with some lighter rainfall than previous weeks, affecting the northern region of the country. All our farms are reporting quality as good with clean fruit, lighter shell color, 13+ brix and lighter 1-2 internal. There is some minor basal spotting on large calibers, but these minor blemishes have been graded out at the packing line. Farms will continue to harvest early in order to avoid water spot as rains will be present and strong all the way until December, which might present issues to internal condition. USDA is reporting significant spike on inbounds for week 48 at 1100 loads crossing vs week 47 at a revised 791 loads in from Costa Rica. Availability offered continues to be lower on 7 and 8 count fruit, sizes also popular for European customers. The Europe end of year pull is still in full swing and will continue demanding more fruit than normal. The market is reported as slightly higher on 7s and 8s with moderate demand.

Pineapple (Mexican)

Jiovani.Guevara@robinsonfresh.com

The main growing regions in Mexico are the states of Veracruz, Tabasco and Colima, crossing mostly through the Texas border. Supplies from Mexico are good with normal demand. Markets remain stable through the holidays with good supplies from both Costa Rica and Mexico. Quality is reported to be very good with brix levels over 13% and supply peaking on 6/7count.

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There are no updates available this week.

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In Santa Maria, California, we are receiving reports of ash in most fields, but many shippers feel the fruit will not be affected. Some growers are implementing the use of bug vacuums to clean up the ash. This follows a week where temperatures had dipped below freezing.
Central Mexico fruit is increasing in volume but full production is not expected until mid- to late-December and the Oxnard winter crop should start in the next couple of weeks.
Santa Maria is forecasted for sunny skies, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. This area is reporting some bruising, soft shoulder and overripe, occasional misshapen, occasional frost damage and ash residue. Counts averaging 22 to 26.
Oxnard, California is forecast to have sunny skies with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Out of Oxnard, there are reports of some bruising, soft shoulder and overripe and occasional wind burn with counts averaging 24 to 26. Zamora, Mexico is forecast to have partly cloudy skies and showers on Sunday evening with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. Plant City, Florida is forecast to be sunny Wednesday and Thursday, then partly cloudy with showers on Friday and sunny for the weekend. Highs ranging from the 60s to 70s and lows in the 40s to 50s.

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Supplies on seedless remain tight. Quality has not been great with lower temperatures in Northern Mexico, we are seeing brix under 10. Southern Mexico is starting but supplies will be light for a couple of weeks. Seedless into Texas out of Mexico has been very limited. We continue to see mostly smaller fruit. The east coast has limited supplies on seedless out of Florida. Mini Seedless have good supplies but the brix are a little low as well.

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Organic Fruits & Vegetables

There are no updates available this week.

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There are no updates available this week.

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Organic Dry Vegetables

John.Pursel@robinsonfresh.com

Organic cucumbers and zucchini are starting this week loading in Nogales. All product will be stickered and quality is reported excellent. Our first crossing will be available to load on Wednesday. Currently, supply remains plentiful and a great time to promote. Organic bell peppers will be starting next week. Supply is currently limited due to transition from the southeast and California, now moving south into Mexico. Our organic mini peppers will remain limited until mid-January. Overall supply is limited this week and market pricing remains high.

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There are no updates available this week.

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Organic red onions are going strong in Hollister, California. We are packing in a 40# carton. We have Jumbo and Medium available to ship. Quality is great and volume is plentiful.

*Updated 11/14/17

^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

The organic navel season has started with good volume being harvested right now and quality is looking good. The gas time is down to 60-72 hrs. The size structure right now is 88-113-72-56 with good demand on big fruit. The eating quality is great and fruit is holding up really well on the market.

*Updated 11/14/17

^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

There are no updates available this week.

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Russets, reds, and yellow potatoes are in full swing out of Colorado. Russets are available under the Tomorrow’s® Organics label and the organic reds and yellow are available in the Albert Bartlett brand. We do have a small inventoried supply of organic, and conventional potatoes out of our San Bernardino, California warehouse. Please call for updated availability and pricing. Overall quality outlook is great and we are anticipating a great crop this season. Organic Fingerling potatoes are available out of Colorado as well as Edison, California. We have a few different varieties available and the quality is excellent.

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There are no updates available this week.

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Organic Squash is going strong out of Hollister, California and Farmington, New Mexico. In Hollister, California we have organic Acorn, Butternut, Delicata, Kabocha, and Spaghetti. Quality is strong and there is good volume. We are packing the organic squash in a 35# carton. In Farmington, New Mexico we have organic Butternut, Red Kuri, Delicata, and Spaghetti. These are a great item to promote.
*Updated 11/14/17

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Organic Sweet Potatoes

Jamie.Sgheiza@robinsonfresh.com

The organic sweet potato season is off to a great start with outstanding quality! Jewels, Garnets and Japanese varieties are available in 40#, cartons, medium, jumbo and 3# bags. We are loading out of Livingston, California.

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Organic Tropicals

Ivan.Pruneda@chrobinson.com

We are finished for the season on organic mangos out of Mexico which was loading in Texas.

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Transportation

Carrier utilization remains near 100%. Continue to plan for additional lead time and flexibility through ELD implementation and Christmas Holiday.
Northeast: Recommend 24-48 hours lead-time in Northeast
Southeast: Recommend 24 hours lead-time in Southeast
Midwest: Recommend 24-48 hours lead-time in Midwest
South: Recommend 24-48 hours lead-time in South Texas
Northwest: Recommend 48 hours lead-time in Northwest
West: Recommended 48 hours lead-time in West
*Updated 12/5/17

John.Stenderup@chrobinson.com

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Fresh from the kitchen

SMOKED GOUDA & COLLARD FETTUCCINE

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. prosciutto ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. fettuccine noodles
  • 4 oz. butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups smoked gouda cheese, shredded
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can Glory Foods Simply Seasoned Collard Greens
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

… More at: Smoked Gouda & Collard Fettuccine

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