Week 10, 2022
Organic Strawberries from Mexico are promotable as harvests continue to come on strong, leading to increased volumes at reasonable prices. Florida continues to harvest Organic Strawberries as well and is expected to finish before the end of March. California production has also begun, and quality is looking excellent on the early harvests. Weather conditions in all three areas are ideal for Strawberry production, so expect markets to remain promotable through March. Organic Raspberries are promotable through the month as production from Mexico continues. Quality has been very nice, and prices should firm up before new crops from California begin. Prices will then ease once again in early April as stronger supplies are expected to come on. Organic Blackberry prices will begin to ease off through March as new crops begin from California, leading to plentiful supplies. Quality has been consistently excellent with great flavor and sugar. Organic Blueberry prices are expected to start rising during the 2nd half of March. South American import product is on the decline as supplies start to finish up. Mexico continues to have some harvests, but supplies are limited. Quality out of Mexico continues to be excellent, while import quality has im-proved but remains fair-good to end the Chilean season.
Organic Leaf and Romaine Lettuce from Florida have returned to peak availability and will be promotable through March. Quality has remained outstanding throughout the season. Organic Romaine Hearts and Iceberg Lettuces from Arizona and SoCal are experiencing very limited volumes, and some suppliers are gapping in production due to heavy aphid (insect) pressure, making crops unable to harvest. Some growers have ended their southern growing region season early because of the issue, while others are trying to salvage what has not been affected. Supplies will be limited throughout March and pricing will remain elevated until transition to Salinas, CA, set for late March.
Organic Broccoli from Southern California and Yuma, AZ is yielding plentiful volumes in early March, with promotional opportunities available. The transition to northern growing regions will begin in mid to late March. Organic Sweet Baby Broccoli is in better supply with more affordable pricing. Organic Purple Sweet Baby Broccoli is available in limited volumes for the month. Organic Broccoli Rabe will begin to transition back to Salinas, CA in early March, and may create some additional cost in transportation.
The first new crop import Organic Bartlett Pears out of Argentina is available with very nice quality and firm supply. They are expected to be followed by Organic Red Bartlett, Red Anjou, and Green Anjou Pears this month.
Greenhouse grown Organic Tomatoes are starting to ramp up in availability heading into April. Organic Cocktail, Cluster, and Beefsteak Tomatoes all have excellent quality, while Organic Grape Tomatoes from Florida will be in more limited supply by mid-March. Organic Heirloom and Darkloom Tomatoes continue to be available out of Mexico, and quality has been outstanding. Prices are expected to increase slightly over the course of the month. Organic Roma Tomatoes prices will remain steady, as quality has been outstanding out of Mexico on steady supplies.
Organic Hass Avocados remain tight as growers are having a hard time getting the pipeline refilled. Organic Fair Trade Hass Avocado supplies will be limited as the Equal Exchange Fair Trade program will be ending sooner this year. Challenges with delays in grower certifications are limiting the volume available as Fair Trade.
Organic Zucchini and Yellow Squash continue to be steady in volume and pricing in mid-month, however Organic Zucchini volume is expected to strengthen throughout March. Organic Zucchini harvests from Florida will begin again in mid to late March and volumes will grow.
March will be the best time of the year to promote Organic Navel Oranges. Quality, flavor, availability, and pricing are in good shape. Organic Lemons are also very promotable from California for March. Also in season, but in more limited volumes from California, are Organic Grapefruit, Kumquats, Meyer Lemons, Murcott Mandarins, Golden Nugget Mandarins, Blood Oranges, Cara Cara Oranges, and Minneola Tangelos.