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Last Update: July 22, 2014

 

COMMODITY ALERT: Strawberry quality is fair at best. Mostly large Westside melons. Apples and Pears: eastern supplies are short and Washington is in large fruit so stay ahead on the smaller sizes. Lemon demand is exceeding supplies.

 

WEATHER: Central California continues the rollercoaster between high and low pressure systems typical of summer. Monsoonal moisture will keep humidity high and may bring some thunderstorm activity to Central California this week. A strong high pressure system returns mid-week bringing above average temperatures and possible heat wave to the region into next week.

 

FREIGHT: Trucks in California remain steady this week. Washington and Idaho trucks remain steady as well. The national average on diesel fuel remained steady last week at 3.894 per gallon and should trend steady when they come out later today. Crude oil continues to be over 100.00 per barrel and is now at 103.76 per barrel.

 

Commodity Updates

APPLES/PEARS
California Gala apples are available and peaking on 100-size.  The color is average to good and the availability of the smaller sizes is increasing. We should have a couple more California Gala shippers starting this week.  Washington Red Delicious continue to peak on 80/88/100’s. 100-count and larger supplies remain more prevalent than the smaller sizes, especially in the fancy grade. Most Washington shippers are still subbing up to the higher grades to cover any volume of small reds.  The Red market is steady on all sizes. Golden Delicious is still peaking 100-size and is still fairly evenly sized. The Golden Delicious market is also steady. Granny-Smith is peaking on 88/100/113’s. Some shippers will still flex for volume on the smaller sizes. The market for large Granny-Smith is steady but still very strong. Washington Galas are essentially finished for the season. Washington Fuji volume is very light but they are available from a few shippers. The remaining Fuji’s are mostly large. Washington D’Anjou pears are still peaking on 90’s and larger while 110’s and smaller remain short. The D’Anjou availability remains very light as they are almost finished for the season. California Bartlett pears are steady on all sizes and continue to peak on 80’s & 90’s.  So far 135’s are the smallest pear available.  California Red pears are also steady and peaking on larger fruit.

ASPARAGUS
This market is steady to start the week.  Supplies out of Peru continue to be on the light side. Mexico’s production has picked up on standard sizing. Both regions continue to struggle on jumbo sizing. This size will command a higher price. The quality has been reported to be good. 

AVOCADO
We are currently being supplied from 3 different countries of origin (California, Mexico, and Peru). Volumes will decline beginning in August. California is at its peak of their season, with sizes peaking on 48’s and 60’s. Mexico is wrapping up their Old Crop and beginning their Flor Loca crop harvest. Their volume is dropping and they are raising their prices. Peruvian fruit supplies are good and will continue thought August. Their fruit is mostly 48’s and larger, with a limited amount of 60’s. Fruit quality is good with very good maturity levels. As we get into August, supplies of all origin will begin to decline and market looks to get very active.

BELL PEPPERS
Western Bells: Because of transitions and current heat wave Southern California green bell crops supplies are lagging.   Green bell peppers are lighter supplies from Bakersfield area and Fresno has not started with substantial production yet. Market is creeping up. California red bell market is showing some relief from scarcity and FOB’s.  This will be short lived as some current districts’ production is projected to be very light. Red bells both open field and hothouse is crossing through South Texas. Fresno Red bells have started but not full production. Demand Exceeds on Red and Gold bell peppers from both districts. Colored bell peppers supplies from California will continue to be a challenge for the remainder of the season until Baja California kicks in this fall. Gold bells markets continue at HIGH fobs and very light supplies availability depends on growing district.  Mexico has basically wrapped up on both hothouse and open field gold bells. Some greenhouse gold bell peppers are crossing through South Texas.
Eastern Bells: Green peppers are in good volume.

BERRIES
Strawberries: Warm night time temperatures (high 50’s low 60’s) and fog is not letting the fruit firm up which is the main reason for the weak quality currently. Fruit continues to ripen at night with these warm temperatures getting the growers behind in their fields. Main issue is bruising followed by light mold. The forecast is calling for a warming trend this week which will push the fog off the coast but the warm weather will keep the quality fair this week. Fruit size is medium to small. We do not anticipate these arrival conditions to change in the near future. Only order what your need due to the short shelf life of the fruit.  Market is slightly weaker with some fruit being discounted due to quality. Be careful on what you are buying.
Raspberries: The humid weather currently is also affecting the quality of Raspberries. Expect fruit to arrive on the softer side. Demand is still good which is keeping this market firm but steady. Quality is being reported as Fair.
Blackberries: This weather is affecting the quality of blackberries. Expect softer fruit arriving this week. Supplies continue to improve as each week moves on. Quality is fair. Market is firm but steady.
Blueberries: Market is steady on both Coast. West Coast quality is being reported as good. The main pack currently is Pints.

BROCCOLI
This market is steady like the previous week. Supplies are expected to be good throughout the week, especially on crowns. Santa Maria, Salinas and Mexico are the growing areas for these commodities. The quality has been reported as being good in all the growing regions.

CARROTS
Bakersfield crop is producing good volumes of good quality carrots with good size.

CAULIFLOWER
This market has remained unchanged. Demand continues to be off. The best supplies continue to be on sixteen counts. Shippers are listening to offers. There is a gap in pricing of two-three dollars on all sizing. Production continues mainly out of Santa Maria and Salinas. The quality has been reported as good overall with most suppliers.

CELERY
The celery market is steady. Small sizing, 36s and smaller continue to have the least availability and is commanding a higher price. Good deals are being given to large sizing and this will likely continue throughout the week.  Santa Maria and Salinas continue to be the main growing regions for this commodity. The quality continues to be strong with most shippers.

CITRUS
Lemons: Demand continues to rise and is exceeding supply on all sizes and grades. Fruit is especially tight on 165’s and larger fruit due to lack of growth because of drought conditions in California. The market continues to firm on pricing on all sizes with this strong demand for fruit. There will be some very limit supplies of Chilean fruit arriving next week, but not near what we need to make a difference.
Oranges: Valencia supplies are good. Sizing continues to favor the 88’s/72’s/113’s sizes. Demand is very good on the smaller fruit 113’s and 138’s and cleaning up daily. With the long, hot days of summer, we are seeing re-greening of the fruit. This is a normal occurrence in the summer. The fruit is still ripe and sweet. We are still able to source some late season navels in the large sizes, 72’s to 40’s. The late season California navels are still available from a few suppliers, but neat the end of their season.
Limes:  Demand is steady on all sizes.  The market is also now steady on all sizes.  The supplies of smaller limes have leveled off and are remaining steady.  Larger sized volumes are also holding steady.  At the end of July Mexico will be transitioning into another growing area which looks to bring in good supplies of smaller limes.

CUCUMBERS
Western Cucumber: Market is beginning to show some relief from current FOBS. However, market will remain on the high side.  California (Mex) cucumbers from Baja are beginning to harvest new acreage. Demand Exceeds is still the case.
Eastern Cucumbers: Expect the market to stay high and tight with good quality and less volume.

EGGPLANT
Western Eggplant: California is creeping up slightly as heat slowed down production slightly. Demand slightly outpacing supplies.
Eastern Eggplant: Eggs are in better supply and quality. 

GRAPES
San Joaquin Valley and Bakersfield grapes are available.  There are all sizes available on the flames, with good quality.  Green seedless is available as well with excellent quality.  The green are mostly large.

GREEN ONIONS
There is no change in the market. Pricing is steady with all suppliers. The quality out of the Mexico region continues to be strong. Production in Salinas should occur by the end of the week, but Mexico will be the predominant growing area for this commodity.

LEAF LETTUCE
Romaine supplies are light to moderate with most suppliers. Demand, overall is moderate. Green and red leaf continues to be flat in terms of demand. Romaine hearts continue to have light availability with all shippers and this will continue throughout the week. Colossal hearts will not be seen until possibly the end of the week at the earliest. Romaine hearts continue to be on escalated pricing. Tip and fringe burn continue to be issues that growers are dealing daily. 

LETTUCE
This market has firmed up as shippers attempt to take pricing upward. Expect this market to be stronger by the middle to the end of the week. The gap in pricing has closed considerably from last week as most shippers are light to moderate to begin the week. Pinking, rib discoloration and russet spotting continues to be issues reported upon arrivals. 

MELONS
Cantaloupe: Westside melons are available with excellent quality sizing is all over the board depending on the shipper. Sugars are good and there is good availability. 
Honeydew: Nogales is cleaned up for the season. The Westside fruit is available but mostly peaking to 5’s so small fruit will continue to be limited at best.

ONIONS
The yellow onion market is higher again due to the generally short supplies in California and rain in New Mexico last night.  New Mexico’s forecast is for scattered thunderstorms today and then it should be dry until Friday, so they should be more of a factor this week.   New Mexico is packing more direct-seeded onions now so the size profile is smaller and they have limited numbers of colossal and larger yellows.  The yellow quality has been good in both California and New Mexico but we could see more mold and spotting from New Mexico in the short term.  Red onions are also higher again because the California suppliers are limiting their sales to make the supplies last through August.  New Mexico red supplies are still generally short and some shippers there are buying from California.  Medium red supplies are still short in California.  The quality on red onions has been fair to good in both areas.  Whites are relatively light in both areas but the markets are steady.

POTATOES
Idaho is steady to lower on all sizes of potatoes.  All sizes are available and the demand has been light.  Idaho expects to pack new-crop Norkotahs between August 4th and 11th.   Most Washington suppliers have finished packing old-crop and they will start packing new-crop Norkotahs this week. Colorado remains steady to on all sizes but supplies are limited on 50’s through 70’s.  The Colorado shippers are still relatively high compared to other areas.  Wisconsin is steady to slightly lower on russets and they are also relatively high. California russet potatoes are steady to lower as most shippers are trying to clean-up this week.  Bakersfield red and gold potatoes are still peaking on A-size but supplies are limited.  The Bakersfield market is steady to lower. Stockton, California is steady on all colors and they are peaking on A-size for all varieties. Virginia continues packing red and white potatoes.  The Virginia market is fairly steady but they are in and out quick so there are deals available for volume.  Alabama & Texas are still packing red and both are being quoted as steady but they will flex on Red A’s.  North Carolina is still packing red, gold, and white potatoes.  The Gold and White volume is light though.

SQUASH
Western Squash: California squash currently shipping out of Santa Maria and Fresno.  Supplies are lightening up due to hot weather in Fresno. Demand also pressing and slightly lower production may push market to creep up slightly later this week.
Eastern Squash: Squash is in Michigan quality is good.

STONE FRUIT
California stone fruit is available with a mixed bag of colors and sizing available from different shippers.  Small fruit remains very limited on both peaches and nectarines.  Both red and black plums and pluots are available with excellent quality and good promotable volume. 

TOMATOES
Western/Mexico: California tomatoes are officially the source for most domestic product across the country. Demand has remained flat for the past week, as buyers are keeping inventories tight in the falling market over the past few weeks. While most expect an upswing in this demand, so too is production expected to rise resulting in only a slight increase in price. The recent warm weather has boosted production but has also prevented fruit from reaching their full size. Larger sized tomatoes can expect a jump in price next week. Roma tomatoes in California are finally more reasonably priced. High prices, coupled with relatively cheap round pricing, drove many buyers away from this fruit, leaving shippers with a small buildup of inventory. While a California roma is naturally heartier than its round cousin, quality has been quite good out of the region and shows no sign of slowing down. Freight will keep pricing stable on these tomatoes, but again, this could drop once Mexico comes into more supplies in the next couple of weeks. Mexico and California has seen increased demand for all sizes of Romas this week with limited production out of the American southeast causing a rise in the market until Mexico realizes better numbers over the next week or so. Cherry and grape tomatoes have begun to find more volume in California giving the western market a sense of relief however pricing is remaining the same due to wide mix of availability and quality offered out East.
Eastern/Tomatoes: Florida and South Carolina are finishing up with growing areas of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama helping keep pricing down while meeting demand. Florida will be cleaned out until the fall season begins near October. Roma tomatoes are moving up the eastern seaboard to smaller growers scattered through several states. With the low pricing for round tomatoes, Romas are now less desired with the calming of the market for round varieties, however the lack of availability are keeping prices firm and slightly elevated for this time of season. With Mexico struggling to find product, demand remains focused on domestic fruit.  Cherry and grape tomatoes have been flourishing in Florida with local growers in Alabama and the Carolinas together driving prices down. With Florida finishing up last week we can expect a slight increase as demand is transitioned further up the coast.

WATERMELON
Market is steady.  Current Nogales crossings are about to finish. Next area for production will be Phoenix.  Current crops are mostly packed in bins and cartons will become lighter in supplies. South Texas and Mecca California are currently shipping.

 

Commodities At-A-Glance

Commodity

Quality

Market

Apples

Good

Steady

Asparagus

Good

Steady

Avocado (Mexican)

Good

Higher

Avocado (California)

Good

Higher

Bell Peppers (Western)

Good

Steady/Lower

Bell Pepper (Eastern)

Good

Higher

Berries: Strawberries

Fair

Lower

Berries: Raspberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Blackberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Blueberries

Good

Steady

Broccoli

Good

Steady

Carrots

Good

Steady

Cauliflower

Good

Steady

Celery

Good

Steady

Citrus: Lemons

Good

Steady

Citrus: Oranges

Good

Higher

Cucumbers (Western)

Good

Lower

Cucumbers (Eastern)

Good

Higher

Eggplant (Western)

Good

Steady

Eggplant (Eastern)

Good

Higher

Grapes, Green

Good

Lower

Grapes, Red

Good

Steady

Green Onions

Good

Steady

Lettuce: Leaf

Fair

Steady

Lettuce: Iceberg

Fair

Steady

Melons: Cantaloupe

Good

Higher

Melons: Honeydew

Good

Steady

Onions

Good

Higher

Pears

Good

Steady

Potatoes

Fair

Steady

Squash (Western)

Good

Steady

Squash (Eastern)

Good

Higher

Stone Fruit

Excellent

Higher

Tomatoes (Western)

Good

Steady

Tomatoes (Eastern)

Good

Steady

Watermelon

Good

Steady

 

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Greener Fields TogetherLearn about Greener Fields Together

Greener Fields Together is a groundbreaking, industry-wide sustainability program for the entire produce value chain. It was created and is administered by PRO*ACT and will be run by PRO*ACT and its national network of independently-owned local purveyors. As a formalized, stand-alone program, Greener Fields Together engages and involves farmers, distributors, foodservice operators and retail locations in efforts to work toward safer produce from seed to fork.

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Hospitality & Retail: See Ted's Montana Grill and Twain's Billiard's & Tap links below.

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Greener Fields Together Web Site | GFT - Facebook GFT - Twitter GFT - Vimeo GFT - Pinterest GFT - YouTube

 

 

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Ted's Montana Grill  

Press release

How Ted's supports sustainability (pg. 14)

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Saltyard  

 

 

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South City Kitchen-Midtown & Vinings • La Tavola Trattoria • Ecco • The Original El Taco • Alma Cocina • Lure-Airport • Bold American Events - Catering & Design

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Roberson Onion Co.

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Produce Professor