With cold temperatures throughout major growing regions, organic bell peppers, one of the fastest growing organic commodities, have inevitably faced a slowdown in production. A partnership between Oppenheimer Group and Divemex is prepared to weather the storm with advanced agro-technology greenhouses leading to an increase in organic production.
According to Chris Ford, organic category manager at Oppy, all producers work to regulate temperature inside their greenhouses and control quality and output, but those with the more advanced structures or greenhouse systems, like Divemex, are more apt to move through these cold spells successfully.
Divemex was one of the early pioneers in advanced greenhouse agriculture for organic peppers and tomatoes in Mexico. Today, nearly 50 percent of their total volume is certified organic and 100 percent is Fair Trade Certified.
As one of the predominant organic hot house producer for North American markets their state-of-the-art greenhouses allow them to produce nearly year-round, taking advantage of the early season in Ahualuco, MX, and then moving into Culiacan and Etzatlan. Typical peak production is in February and March.
Ford said he expects steady and consistent supplies, of red, yellow and orange organic bell peppers despite the cold, and upcoming volumes are expected to be ample for late winter and early spring. Organic hot house mini peppers are also projected to be in steady supply.
As distributors continue to maintain guaranteed organic pepper supplies for retailers, diversification of supply is rising and the market is experiencing an increase in imports from a variety of origins.
Robin Sporn, USA sales manager for Mor International, of Telmond Israel, said there is an strong up-tick in organic imports from Israel due to the major trucking shortage occurring at the Mexican border and the newly implemented Electronic Log Book rules.