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Last Update: October 27, 2014

 

COMMODITY ALERT: Blackberries will be light availability through Oct into mid November Rain in the forecast for later this week could put the Northern California strawberry season to bed Strawberry sizing is small. Special packs such as stems and pints are limited to unavailable Cantaloupes are finished in the Westside and the desert remains very limited causing extreme supply gaps and prices Apples and Pears-the eastern supplies are short and Washington is in large fruit so stay ahead on the smaller sizes Lemon demand continues to exceeding supplies on 165’s and smaller.

 

WEATHER: Temperatures warm slightly across Central California (70s to low 80s) over the next couple of days ahead of an approaching cold front. This system arriving Friday looks to take a similar northern track of the previous storms bringing a chance of rain to the Salinas valley into the weekend. Temperatures in the upcoming desert regions will remain a bit above seasonal norms (90s) as these systems pass well to the north.

 

FREIGHT: Trucks in California remain steady. Washington and Idaho trucks remain tighter than normal. Please continue to get your orders in as early as possible. The national average on diesel fuel dropped slightly again last week to 3.656 per gallon and should trend steady when they come out later today. Crude oil dropped slightly and is currently at 79.81 per barrel.

 

Commodity Updates

APPLES/PEARS
New York continues to pack McIntosh, Gala’s, Macoun’s, Cortland’s, Honeycrisp, Empires, Red Romes, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and now Stamens.  The New York markets are all steady.  All of the New York variety’s are large and producing mostly 100’s and larger. Small size fruit remains limited in New York. Michigan is still packing Cortland’s, Empires, Fuji’s, and Gala’s, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Jonagolds, Jonamacs, Jonathans, McIntosh, Reds, and Romes. Michigan has better availability of the smaller sizes and is still producing more of the extra-fancy fruit; the fancy grade volume is limited.  Washington Red Delicious are still peaking on 80/88’s in the WX#1 and premium grades and have better availability in the larger sizes.  Small size reds remain limited. The Red market is steady with limited availability of 113’s and smaller.  Golden Delicious is steady to slightly lower and the fruit remains evenly sized.  Granny-Smiths on all sizes and continue to peak on premium 80/88’s. There are some volume deals on 88 and larger Granny’s. Washington Gala’s are steady to lower and continue to peak on 100/113’s with good color.  Some of the Gala suppliers will flex for volume orders.  The Fuji market is steady on all sizes but most packers are heavy to 88’s and larger and will deal for volume. Braeburns, Jonagolds, Sweeties, Jazz, Red Romes, Cameo’s, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady’s are all available in Washington. Most of the Washington varietals are large.  Washington Bartlett pears are steady and are peaking on US #1 100/110’s and larger.  Smaller Bartlett’s are limited.  Washington D‘Anjou pears are also steady and remain a couple dollars above the Bartlett’s. The D’Anjou’s are also heavier to 110’s and larger with limited supplies of the smaller sizes.  Washington Bosc is steady and has more of the smaller counts than the Bart’s or D’Anjou’s.  Washington red pears are mostly steady on all sizes.
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ASPARAGUS
This market has started out steady with most suppliers. Production from Mexico continues to be heavier to small, standard and large sizing. Extra large and jumbo are commanding a higher price.  Production in Peru is moderate as well. Better FOB pricing exist if loading out of Florida product from Peru. Jumbos and extra large also are commanding a higher price out of this region.

AVOCADO
Mexico’s is going well with volume stabilizing as we get into a normal flow of fruit. Seeing very good demand and market has firmed up on 48’s with this demand. Remember that this New Crop will take longer to ripen, and have a tendency to remain green when ripe and ready to eat, and also have a thicker skin making it difficult to detect the degree of ripeness.

BELL PEPPERS
Western Bells:  Supplies are steady but will start lightening up in the next couple of weeks. California green and colored bells are currently transitioning to southern California. Current supplies are meeting demand but we anticipate with transitions, gaps in supplies to take place. Texas currently has good supplies in mostly hothouse colored bells with some open field bells available. We have some colored hot house bells in Nogales. We anticipate an active market in October/ November as we project the lack of production from Baja California due to hurricane Odile to press markets up. Nogales will have its traditional start in bell pepper production by November/ December there are however; some availability on green bells in Nogales from early starting fields and product brought in from other districts. Gold bells market is steady as transitions have taken place.  Some greenhouse gold bell peppers are crossing through South Texas and Nogales.
Eastern Bells: The pepper market in South GA remains steady but with Florida working now; it is showing signs of weakness.  By the end of this week both areas should be going strong.

BERRIES
Strawberries: The rain over the weekend has hurt the quality and harvest numbers coming out of the Salinas/Watsonville growing areas. Growers out of this area are stripping fruit today or harvesting for the freezer market. Very little is being packed for the fresh market. The forecast is calling for another storm to hit our area late this week which could put the Northern growing areas to bed for the season. Demand has picked up which has firmed the market. The rain only hit the Salinas/Watsonville growing areas. Berry sizing is small, in the mid-upper 20’s count range.  Special packs are very limited to not available. Quality will be affect slightly in the Salinas/Watsonville growing areas due to this light rain.
Oxnard / Santa Maria districts are all reporting improved quality as evening temperatures have begun to fall into ideal ranges of high 40s – low 50s.  Fruit has firmed up for these cooler nights. Sizing is ranging smaller.  Some soft fruit and sunburn may remain in the packs from heat in the recent weeks.
Raspberries:  Good availability this week as Mexican crop came in with stronger volumes than projected.  Good quality is being reported. Market is steady.
Blackberries:  Blackberry production continues to decline out of California and quality remains an issue – citing red cell, soft and overripe fruit.  We have hit the lowest production time of the year as the domestic crop comes to an abrupt end and Central Mexico remains 1-2 weeks out before we have good volumes available.  Expect continued fill-rates and possible loading delays as product is being transferred to cover orders. 
Blueberries:  Domestic crop is done for the season. Offshore product is available from Central America and Central Mexico.  Availability will be volatile depending on where you choose to load as product is being transferred daily to meet order requirements.  Good quality is being reported with the offshore berries.

BROCCOLI
The market is steady.  Expect all broccoli items to be active by the end of the week.  Broccoli crowns will definitely be lighter in availability at the end of the week.  Production in Salinas and Santa Maria are the main growing regions for these commodities. Traditionally, this commodity starts production late November to early December in Yuma. Mexico has moderate production available if needed.

CARROTS
Bakersfield crop is dropping in volume on Jumbo size carrots and with good demand we are see markets firm up. Quality of carrots is still very good

CAULIFLOWER
This market is up on all sizes. Most suppliers are calling for moderate to light supplies for the entire week. The market will be active thru the month of November. Salinas and Santa Maria are the main regions currently producing this commodity.  The quality continues to be up and down with issues of brown spotting and discoloration. Production in Yuma will not start until the end of November to Early December.

CELERY
This market has remained unchanged with most shippers. Currently, production is out of Salinas and Santa Maria. Oxnard will begin harvesting in the first week of November. Small sizing continues to command a higher price with most shippers. The quality continues to be good out of Salinas and Santa Maria. Early reports indicate the Oxnard production will be nice right from the start.

CITRUS
Lemons: The market continues to be strong although an increasing supply out of the desert regions is helping to take the pressure off. We are still seeing demand exceeding supplies on 165’s and smaller. The 140’s and larger supply and demand are about equal. Overall, we expect the market to return to a more normal supply situation in November.
Oranges: Valencia’s are winding down rapidly as we approach the end of the month. Navel production continues to ramp up and most all packing houses will be going next week. Internal maturity on the Navels is ahead of normal. Size is currently peaking 88’s/113’s/72’s/138’s/56’s.
Limes: We are into the latter part of this seasonal crop.  The market is holding steady on all sizes.  Demand is currently holding steady.  The overall quality continues to be acceptable with some yellowing and minor defects showing. 

CUCUMBERS
Western Cucumber:Market is in a slight uptick.  Production from Sonora is picking up pace but we’re experiencing some lots with quality issues. Supplies should be adequate from here on out barring any weather issues.  Sonoran supplies are making up for the affected Baja production due to the past storm damage.
Eastern Cucumbers: Select and carton cucumbers are readily available but super selects have tightened up this week.  Some shippers in Georgia have already pulled the plug on cukes which will bring this market up off the floor by next week.  Florida quality has been excellent but Georgia product is showing signs of some age.

EGGPLANT
Western Eggplant: California eggplant is settling. Eggplant has started out of Coachella growing areas.  Demand is still somewhat outpacing supplies. First few lots of Mexican eggplant crossing today and expect volume to increase in the next couple of weeks.
Eastern Eggplant: The eggplant market is up slightly and should continue that trend this week. 

GRAPES
The red and green grape markets continue to be strong at current levels. Most suppliers are pushing hard to build storage volumes as the harvest heads into its’ final few weeks. With a chance of rain in the long range forecasts the race to load the storage coolers is intensifying. The medium large red market is strong at $14.95 to $16.95 with larger fruit pushing up into the $18.95 to $22.95 range. Many shippers are now shipping is styro cartons only on the extra large fruit. Autumn Kings, the primary green variety, is now ranging from $18.95 to as high as $24.95 on the extra large fruit. The domestic harvest on green grapes should continue through the month of October on Autumn Kings and into mid November on the last of the green varietals. The harvest on the Scarlett’s is about done. The Vintage Red’s are projected to continue until about November 15. The last of the Crimson’s should make it until the weather turns and quality fails.  We expect to be shipping out of storage about mid November on both colors.

GREEN ONIONS
This market is softer as supplies have picked up out of Mexico. Demand has fallen off as well, so availability is expected to be good throughout the week. The best availability continues to be in small sizing.

LEAF
The romaine market is active with most suppliers. The issue of fringe burn, seeder, tip burn and decay on romaine continues to be reported defects from all suppliers. These defects that can be expected to be seen for the rest of the season in Salinas. These defects are industry wide. The weights on romaine have been averaging 32-36 pounds.  Green and red leaf has started the week stronger as well. Colossal romaine hearts will continue to be very light in production. Regular romaine hearts are also light in availability. High temperatures in the growing regions have not allowed hearts to cup properly. The quality is average at best with all suppliers.    

LETTUCE
This market is active. Huron lettuce like in Salinas is light in availability. Demand is expected to be strong throughout the week with all shippers. Multiple suppliers have begun the week sold out and not expected to have open market product to sell until the middle of the week. Weights are fluctuating between 37-42 pounds in all the growing regions. There continues to be issues on this commodity. Pinking, seeder, rib discoloration, bottom rot and russet spotting are the main defects being reported out of Salinas. Expect this commodity to have light availability throughout the week. 
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MELONS
Cantaloupe: The overall current supply of melons continues to be short.  The desert has increased in volume but is peaking on large fruit such as 9’s and 6’s.  Lope 12’s, 15’s and 18’s are extremely light in supply this week.  The market on what is being packed is slowly adjusting down from its recent high levels.  Demand has slowed down due to the recent high prices.  The Westside district is done.  Quality is fair to good on the new crop from the desert.
Honeydew: The Westside district has finished.  Mexico and the desert have started and are heavy towards 4’s, 5’s and 6’s.  The market is steady on all sizes.    Quality is fair to good.

ONIONS
Trucks are starting to be an issue again and with Christmas tree right around the corner look for them to get even tighter. I would recommend staying ahead on your onions. Demand is moderate at best on all colors and sizes which is keeping the onion market steady. Growers have finished harvesting their Onions for the season. There are some deal being made on small Jumbo’s so be careful on what you are buying. Quality is good out of all areas.

POTATOES
Idaho – Trucks are becoming the main issue and with Christmas tree right around the corner, trucks will even get tighter. So please stay ahead on your potatoes. Good demand on 70ct and larger has this market climbing higher. The smaller sizes 80ct and smaller have moderate demand with a steady to slightly stronger market.  Both Burbanks and Norkotahs are being packed currently.  Most shippers are booked out 3 to 4 days in advance on 70ct and larger.
Washington – All growers have finished with harvest and have their potatoes in their storages. Market has firmed up slightly on 80ct and smaller with 70ct and larger steady. Quality is being reported as good.
Colorado – Demand is good which has this market firming slightly.  Quality is being reported as good. Sizing is peaking on 70ct.
Wisconsin – Demand has increased due to supplies being light in Idaho. This has caused the market to increase slightly. Sizing is peaking on 70ct. Quality is being reported as good. 
Bakersfield, California is still shipping northwest red, white, and gold potatoes.  Their market is steady along with Washington.  Western Washington is steady on all colors.  The reds are speaking on A-size while the whites and gold’s are heavier to B-size.  North Dakota reds and gold’s are steady.   The N.D. reds are peaking on A-size while the golds are peaking on B-size.  The Idaho red market is up slightly on B’s but is steady on the other sizes.  Idaho gold’s are steady and peaking on A-size now.  Wisconsin reds and gold’s is both steady.  The Wisconsin reds are heavy to A-size while the Gold’s are split between A’s and B‘s.

SQUASH
Western Squash:California squash is currently shipping out of Santa Maria and Fresno.  Supplies are improving. Demand is being met by currentsupplies and market is on its way to settling slightly. Nogales production is improving.  Sonoran production ought to pick up pace from here on out.
Eastern Squash: Squash market is firming up with medium sizes getting very snug.  Georgia weather has cooled down significantly, slowing the production in that region.  South Florida has started working squash this week, but logistics have prevented much movement in that region, driving those prices down and creating a two-tiered market.

STONE FRUIT
Red and Black plums are finishing for the current season. With limited availability we are seeing mostly large size fruit left to clean up. You will see 50’s through 30’s in the $24.85 to $28.85 range on blacks and $18.85 to $25.85 on reds. With the nectarines and peaches done, and the plums nearly done; we are waiting for the off shore fruit to begin. Chilean cherries are expected to start showing up as early as mid to the end of November. We should see the rest of the Chilean stone fruit starting to hit the U.S. around January of next year.

TOMATOES

Western/Mexico: Rounds coming from Eastern Mexico crossing into Texas are in steady supply and have decent quality. This production area has hit peak production. Expect yields to remain steady through Thanksgiving. Availability in the Baja region remains tight as growers assess the damage from the past storms. November will give us a better idea regarding availability for this region.  Northern California product will be finishing up next week as they are harvesting the last of their remaining fields. Southern California will continue to decline as the season comes to a close around Thanksgiving. Romas in Eastern Mexico are in light supply and do not expect to increase in the near future. In the Baja region the impact of the storms have caused sub-par quality and low yields. For the season the product volume will be significantly less than seasons past. Northern California is expected to finish up production by the end of this month. As the volume continues to drop so does the quality. Southern California will be finishing up next week. Grape Toms in Central Mexico will see a slight increase in production and the

quality is decent. The Baja region is still battling through storm damages. We should have a much better outlook starting November. California continues decline in product. Cherries are still gaining strength but still remain light in demand.
Eastern/Tomatoes: Eastern tomatoes are still in very short supply. Virginia/Maryland and Alabama are finishing up for the season. Florida is in production; however weather will be burdening this growing region with major quality problems and low yields. Storms in the west have cause FOB markets to react sharply. Demand for the tomatoes that are coming from Florida remain steady and will increase. Prices are up and the region is struggling with quality (sizing) as well as availability. Florida’s farms are still in the early stages of production and are not expected to be in full volume until mid-November when Ruskin gets going. Volume is tight on all tomato types and quality has been inconsistent.

WATERMELON
Current crops are mostly packed in bins and cartons packed by request. Increasing volumes through Nogales and anticipate market to soften soon. Current production is in South Texas and some in Sonora.  We ought to see watermelon crossings in Nogales to increase in the next couple of weeks. We still have a demand exceeds market.

 

Commodities At-A-Glance

Commodity

Quality

Market

Apples

Good

Steady

Asparagus

Good

Steady

Avocado (Mexican)

Good

Steady

Avocado (California)

 

 

Bell Peppers (Western)

Good

Steady

Bell Pepper (Eastern)

Good

Steady

Berries: Strawberries

Fair

Higher

Berries: Raspberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Blackberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Blueberries

Fair

Steady

Broccoli

Good

Steady

Carrots

Good

Higher

Cauliflower

Fair

Higher

Celery

Good

Steady

Citrus: Lemons

Good

Steady

Citrus: Oranges

Good

Steady

Cucumbers (Western)

Good

Higher

Cucumbers (Eastern)

Good

Lower

Eggplant (Western)

Good

Steady

Eggplant (Eastern)

Good

Higher

Grapes, Green

Good

Steady

Grapes, Red

Good

Higher

Green Onions

Good

Lower

Lettuce: Leaf

Fair

Higher

Lettuce: Iceberg

Fair

Higher

Melons: Cantaloupe

Fair

Steady

Melons: Honeydew

Fair

Steady

Onions

Good

Steady

Pears

Good

Steady

Potatoes

Good

Higher

Squash (Western)

Good

Steady

Squash (Eastern)

Good

Higher

Stone Fruit

Excellent

Higher

Tomatoes (Western)

Fair

Higher

Tomatoes (Eastern)

Fair

Higher

Watermelon

Good

Steady

 

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Royal Food Service Joins Georgia Organics

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The Newton County School System is preparing to feed its students in the 2014-15 school year, approving various contracts at the Board of Education. Among them was Royal Food Service of Atlanta who was selected as the vendor of choice for providing produce and fresh eggs, with the contract becoming effective on June 25 and ending June 24, 2015. Romaine lettuce, apples, oranges, onions, nectarines and peaches are just a few of the produce items that Royal will provide.

It was determined by the Newton school district that Royal Food Service offered the lowest cost to the school district. (Newton Citizen, June 5, 2014, Ryan McKenzie) Read full article.


 

Royal Joins to Support Georgia SHAPE'S Healthy Child Initiative

Georgia SHAPEGeorgia SHAPE is an exciting initiative to improve Georgia’s future, beginning with our state’s most vital and important asset: our young people. We know all children can benefit from knowledge of their current health-related fitness levels, along with a capacity to develop and implement strategies for personal improvement.  Read more about Georgia SHAPE.

Below: Georgia SHAPE team poses with Governor Nathan Deal. image placeholder

 

 


 

Compass Group North America is Newest Greener Fields Together™ Hospitality Partner

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