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Last Update: January 22, 2014

 

COMMODITY ALERT: Honeydew supplies are going to be very limited through February. Rainy weather during planting and abnormal overcast weather has hampered supplies Weather related disruptions in production likely to occur in berry growing regions, followed by quality issues in CA and FL next week Severe cold temperatures in the Southern California region as well as Yuma and Mexico has made the quality of row crop commodities suspect Light supplies on spring mix, spinach and all other baby leaf items will exist throughout the week. Idaho large cartons 50 counts and larger very limited Apples-Washington is into larger fruit so stay ahead on the smaller sizes especially Granny Smiths

 

WEATHER: The high pressure system out on the West Coast will continue to bring above normal temperatures (mid to upper 70s) to the region with possible record highs over the weekend. Strong winds (20-35mph) will accompany the high pressure over the next few days. Forecasts continue to show the potential of a cut-off low system originating from the tropics impacting the region with significant precipitation early next week. We will be closely watching this cut-off system as it approached the region.

 

FREIGHT: Trucks in CA and AZ will be steady throughout the week.  Washington trucks are steady but Idaho remains tighter than normal.  Please continue to get your onion and potato orders in as early as possible.  The national average on diesel dropped again this week and is now 2.933 per gallon. CA price is down as well and is currently 3.165 per gallon. Crude oil remains below 50.00 per barrel and is now 46.39 per barrel.

 

Commodity Updates

APPLES/PEARS
New York is still packing McIntosh, Empires, Red Romes, and Red Delicious. The New York markets remain steady for all varieties. Michigan continues to pack Braeburns, Empires, Fuji’s, Gala’s, Golden Delicious, Idareds, Jonathans, Jonagolds, McIntosh, Red Delicious, and Red Romes.  Most Michigan fruit is peaking 88/100’s and larger. The Michigan markets are steady as well. Washington Red Delicious is steady and continues to peak on 80’s and larger in the WX#1 and premium grades. Small reds are still short.  Golden Delicious is steady on all sizes and continues to producing mostly 88/100’s but all sizes are available.  Granny-smiths are still peaking on Washington extra-fancy 80/88’s and larger. Grannies are steady on 88’s and larger while the 100’s and smaller are mostly higher with light supplies available.  Washington Gala’s are steady and are still are peaking on 88/100’s.  The Fuji market is steady on all sizes and they are peaking on 64/72’s now. Braeburns, Jonagolds, Jazz, Red Romes, Honeycrisp, Cameo’s, and Pink Lady’s are all available in Washington. Most of the Washington varietals are peaking on the larger sizes.  Washington Bartlett pears are steady but strong on all sizes due to strong demand and light supplies.  The Bartlett’s are now peaking on US#1 70-90’s. Most Washington shippers will finish Bartlett’s between the end of January and mid February.  Washington D‘Anjou pears are steady & continue to peak on 80/90’s. 120’s are smaller D’Anjou’s remain short.  Washington Bosc is steady and they are peaking on 80/90’s.  Small Bosc is also short. Washington red D’Anjou’s are steady on all sizes and they are peaking on 45/50 half-cartons.

ASPARAGUS
This market continues on a steady path. Better production is expected out of Mexico this week. This commodity olds up better to cold weather compared to other crops. Standard and large continue to be the main sizes available. Extra large and jumbos are extremely tight. This will continue through the month of January. Peruvian product is available but only light supplies exist.

AVOCADO
Supplies are still a little light at shipping points. Super Bowl pull is beginning and will keep avocado supplies tight. Supplies are coming in and going right back out. The demand for all sizes of fruit is good and market is firm on all sizes.

BELL PEPPERS
Western Bells: Colored bells are light supplies due to some cool/ cold weather they had in the growing areas previously last month. We ought to see production back to seasonal norms by next week with warmer weather in the short term forecast. Green bells are promotable supplies and excellent quality. Gold bells market is steady.  Some greenhouse gold bell peppers are crossing through South Texas and Nogales.
Eastern Bells: Plenty of volume and light demand have made for a very weak pepper market that is expected to continue through the weekend.

BERRIES
Strawberries:  Florida received 2+/- inches of rain last week followed by cooler temperatures which has limited supplies. Quality is also fair. Market is firm. Forecast this week calls for a warming trend through the weekend which should help the supplies as we get into next week.  However, the front of next week is forecasted with a possibility of sub freezing temps in some of the berry growing regions. The rain California received over last week has hurt supplies and the quality of the fruit. Cool temperatures last week and the front part of this week have shippers waiting for the fruit to color up. Market is active with limited supplies.  The strawberries are very healthy currently so the rain did not hurt them as bad but you will start to see some white shoulders, green tips, light bruising and water damage showing up in the packs.  It will take 4 to 5 days before you will see the improvement in strawberries after the rains. Mexico supplies are light mainly due to the low fob’s the last couple of weeks. Most growers are keeping their fruit within Mexico currently. Look for the strawberry supplies to be challenging through this week and into next. Rain and wind are forecasted for Southern CA for the front side of week 4 and another front forecasted for the front side of week 5.  FL is also forecasting possibility of subfreezing temps later followed by rain.  With the possibility of rain in the forecast for the next two weeks, we could see disruptions in production for our Valentine’s Day pull and also see quality issues emerge.
Raspberries:  Both Mexico and California supplies continue to come off and we will start to feel the raspberry market firm up as this month moves on.  Product will continue to tighten up through mid-late February.  Cold weather in Mexico is really hurting production. Fruit quality reported as good coming out of MX. 
Blackberries: Mexico has recently experienced high winds that have been whipping the plants around creating production issues. Pack outs have decreased as a result of this wind. This will be about a two week supply issue.  Market is firm and quality is fair. 
Blueberries: The main pack size coming from Chile is pints.  4.4oz and 6oz clams are very sporadic and rarely available.  Supplies are very limited in the small packs. Arrival delays from Chile have this market tightening up. Quality is being reported as good. Mexican volume crossings have increased and more fruit is available on the west coast than weeks prior.  Good quality reported with this fruit as well.   The challenge has been with fruit crossing the border and transfer trucks being delayed at inspection or by weather in transit. 

BROCCOLI
This market is firm. The weather pattern over the last few months has made this commodity go up and down in the marketplace. Pin rot is a quality defect that all growers are dealing with. Yields continue to suffer because of this.  Supplies are going to be light through the month of January. Santa Maria, Yuma, Scottsdale and Mexico are the main growing regions for his commodity

CARROTS
The long hot California summer and drought is now really showing on the Bakersfield crop. The fields are not sizing well and the volume on Jumbo size carrots continue to drop off in supplies. We expect tight supplies on Jumbo and medium carrots for next month until we get into the desert crop. Markets have stabilized on Jumbos. Quality of carrots is still good.

CAULIFLOWER
This market continues to dip downward. Many suppliers have good inventories due to warm temperatures in the growing regions. Deals are available so promote as much as possible.  Production numbers are expected to be good throughout the week. Santa Maria and Yuma continue to be the main growing regions for this commodity. This crop will likely tighten up in the next two weeks.

CELERY
This market is firm. Demand Is up. The cold weather has not affected this commodity like others in terms of quality. The best sizing available continues to be in 36 count packs. Larger sizing is commanding a higher price. Production continues to be out of Santa Maria, Oxnard, and Yuma. There are no major quality issues to report at this time.

CITRUS
Lemons: The market is steady. Desert fruit size in now much larger and is peaking on 140’s and larger with the 165’s and smaller fruit getting very tight on supplies.
Oranges: Navels are in full production. External color is very good. Internal maturity is good and eating quality is excellent. Size
Are currently peaking 8’s/113’s/72’s/56’s/138’s.
Limes:  The market is coming down as supplies increase.  We should have good supplies through February with a forecast of lighter supplies March and April.  Demand is steady but with increased supplies the market is not holding at previous levels.  The overall quality continues to be acceptable with some yellowing and minor defects showing. 

CUCUMBERS
Western Cucumber: Market is slightly lower.  Production from Sonora is lower volume with the majority of the production now coming from Sinaloa. Warm weather has helped production.  We ought to see some incremental increases in Sinaloa production.
Eastern Cucumbers: The off shore deal is in full swing now and the quality has been excellent.    Market remains steady.

EGGPLANT
Western Eggplant: It appears production had slowed slightly due to previous cool/ cold weather.  Production appears to be getting back to it normal seasonal rates. Supplies have been meeting demand.
Eastern Eggplant: The eggplant market has gained strength and will continue to climb for the next several days.

GRAPES
Despite supply delays and interruptions we are beginning to see a break in the market on red seedless grapes. Supplies are increasing on all sizes being offered; although the smaller sizes still dominate the offerings on both coasts. This situation looks to continue through the end of the month. We are hearing supplies may tighten up the first few weeks of February as the Chilean harvest moves between growing regions. That makes the next 2 weeks the ideal time to offer promotions. The green seedless continue to be readily available in all sizes with less of a spread between pricing of the smaller to large code grapes.

GREEN ONIONS
This market is steady. High pricing this past week has slowed demand down with most suppliers. Wilted tops, light color, burnt tips and flopping continues to be common defects with this commodity. Production in Mexico is expected to be steady in availability all week. Shippers are not harvesting heavy to one size.

LEAF LETTUCE
All leaf items are active. The quality of romaine, green and red leaf continues to be consistent. The past cold weather, along with light rains has made epidermal peel, blister and mildew standard defects that are being seen upon arrivals. Demand exceeds supply. Although warm weather is expected throughout this week in the desert region, the quality of product will just be marginal at best. Shippers are cleaning up the product as much as possible.  Weights on romaine are ranging from 28-36 pounds. Green and red leaf items are available, but have the same issues as romaine. All leaf items are active. Please emphasize that ALL suppliers are having the same issues and credits are going to be difficult to come by. The defects will not go away for weeks to come.

LETTUCE
This market is steady, overall. There continues to be a price gap of eight dollars in the industry. Blister and epidermal peel continue to be the hot topics of discussion with this commodity. This will continue over the next two to three weeks minimum. Demand is still strong.  Cold freezing temperatures in the past weeks coupled with warm temperatures last week as well as this week has caused this commodity to have irregular growth patterns. Weights will fluctuate between 38-44 pounds throughout the week. Shippers continue to be reluctant on issuing credit. Please educate customers as much as possible as to the situation in Yuma.

MELONS
Cantaloupe:  Melons are coming in with better volumes than previous weeks.  Supplies are increasing overall and look to remain in this helpful pattern!!  Honduran cantaloupes are arriving while Guatemalan growers are finished or have moved to smaller secondary regions.  The sizing once again continues to peak on 9’s and 12’s with fewer 15’s and even fewer 18’s.  Offshore melons are arriving on the west coast and are becoming available. The market is trending lower.  Quality is good on all lopes.
Honeydew:  Offshore dews are arriving with 8’s and 9’s being the main size.  Honduran supplies are the majority of volume.  Supplies are going to remain light until the end of February.  Rainy weather during the planting stages and abnormal overcast weather has caused low yields. The market is steady at the current high levels on all sizes.  Quality has been suffering on the older crop Guatemalan dews.

ONIONS
White onions market is starting too active as supplies start to wind down for the season out of the Northwest. Yellow and red market is steady with good supplies of most sizes. Quality is still being reported as good on all color and sizes.

POTATOES
Idaho – Market is steady on most sizes the middle of this week. A few deals are being made on 80ct and smaller. Quality is being reported as good. It is that time of the year that potatoes start to wake up and are starting to want to grow. The first sign of this is peepers showing up in the cartons. Shippers are using sprout inhibitor at the storage level. This will inhibit and slow down the growth of the sprouts. The second step is to apply sprout nip directly to the potatoes as they are being packed at the shed. One very important thing to keep in mind is the sprout has to break the surface of the skin for the inhibitor to be effective. The result will be a small “peeper” that will be black on the end and have a cauliflower looking end. This is normal and the appearance of the black end shows that the cell has been disrupted and that elongation of the sprout has been stopped. Burbank’s are still peaking on 80ct and smaller while the Norkotahs are peaking on 60-90’s. Trucks are still limited.
Washington/Colorado/Wisconsin – the market continues to firm up on 40-70’s which is due to other states not having enough size to cover the demand and no retail demand. The smaller sizes are steady. Quality is good.

COLORED POTATOES
Bakersfield, California – Reds and Gold’s are steady on all sizes and both colors are peaking on A-size.  White supplies are limited on all sizes and that market is steady but firm.  Western Washington – the markets for Reds and Gold’s are steady along with the sizing.  There are still volume deals on A-size reds.  The Washington reds are peaking on A-size while the golds are more evenly split between A & B’s. 
North Dakota - reds are steady on all sizes and they continue to produce mostly size-A.  Gold’s are steady on all sizes.
Idaho - reds and gold’s are both steady and still peaking on A-size.  Idaho also has good availability in A-size for both colors.
Wisconsin - reds are steady while the gold’s are higher due to light availability.  The Wisconsin reds are still peaking on A-size.

SQUASH
Western Squash: Market is unsettled as some new farms come online. Italian squash is settling slightly as supplies improve. Yellow squash continues very short and high FOB’s.  There are signs yellow squash is settling slightly as some production increases.
Eastern Squash: The squash market is beginning to gain some strength, particularly in zucchini.  Cold weather has moved into Florida, slowing the growth. Expect this market to continue to climb over the next several days.

STONE FRUIT
Current supplies and quality on both the peaches and nectarines is very good. Sizing is still spread between the tray pack 40’s to the volume fill 70’s with the most aggressive pricing on the smaller fruit. Plums are readily available in the red varieties with a more limited offering in the black’s. The market are being quoted as steady for the coming week.

TOMATOES
Western/Mexico: Eastern Mexico is at the end of their season with very limited amounts of tomatoes crossing as growers clean up, however Western Mexico continues to increase production on rounds, grapes and Romas. There is going to be more volume crossing from Mexico this week. The market is still firm but is adjusting downward slightly. This is mostly new crop fruit and the sizing is mostly big. Smaller sizes are in very short supply.  There is a flush of large-sized vine-ripes available as grower’s peak in crown picks. Quality has been very nice on all items. With volumes increasing weekly, shippers have excess product that is boasting strong quality, and is forecasted to continue its voluminous production for the next week to 10 days.
Eastern/Tomatoes: Florida is producing abundant supplies of all tomato varieties this week. Florida’s round tomato volume remains steady, with the size profile increasing. Volume is expected to remain consistent until spring acreage begins in March. Round tomatoes are more available in larger sizes with smaller fruit harder to come by. Roma production is past its peak, but there’s adequate volume to handle Eastern demand. Grapes and cherries are available in good supply although we could see some bloom drop concerns in the new few weeks. Quality reports are good on all varieties.

WATERMELON 
The current production is Jalisco.  Watermelons are extremely short as they are the majority source of winter watermelons.   The northern crop has wrapped up and Jalisco will be the main source of watermelons until the spring.  The market will continue short although there is slight increase in production in the next week or so.

 

Commodities At-A-Glance

Commodity

Quality

Market

Apples

Good

Steady

Asparagus

Good

Steady

Avocado (Mexican)

Good

Steady

Avocado (California)

Done

Done

Bell Peppers (Western)

Good

Steady/Higher

Bell Pepper (Eastern)

Good

Lower

Berries: Strawberries

Fair

Higher

Berries: Raspberries

Fair

Higher

Berries: Blackberries

Fair

Higher

Berries: Blueberries

Good

Higher

Broccoli

Fair

Steady

Carrots

Good

Lower

Cauliflower

Good

Lower

Celery

Good

Steady

Citrus: Lemons

Good

Higher

Citrus: Oranges

Good

Steady

Cucumbers (Western)

Good

Lower

Cucumbers (Eastern)

Excellent

Steady

Eggplant (Western)

Good

Steady

Eggplant (Eastern)

Good

Higher

Grapes, Green

Good

Steady

Grapes, Red

Good

Higher

Green Onions

Fair

Steady

Lettuce: Leaf

Fair

Higher

Lettuce: Iceberg

Fair

Steady

Melons: Cantaloupe

Good

Lower

Melons: Honeydew

Good

Steady

Onions

Good

Steady

Pears

Good

Steady

Potatoes

Good

Steady

Squash (Western)

Good

Lower

Squash (Eastern)

Fair

Higher

Stone Fruit

Excellent

Higher

Tomatoes (Western)

Good

Steady

Tomatoes (Eastern)

Good

Steady

Watermelon

Good

Steady

 

Recent Events


 

Royal Food Service Joins Georgia Organics

Royal Food Service is a member of Georgia OrganicsRoyal Food Service is now a member of Georgia Organics, an organization recognized state-wide and abroad for its expertise in local, sustainable organic agriculture. We believe this affiliation will help us to better support local organic farming, our customers in healthcare whose patients depend on certified organic produce for treatment, and increase visibility to our expanding line of organic fruits and vegetables. Learn more about Georgia Organics


 

Newton County Schools Chooses Royal

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

Compass GroupCompass Group North America, the leading foodservice management and support services company, is the newest hospitality partner in Greener Fields Together, the sustainability and local produce initiative created by the PRO*ACT produce supply-chain management company. Read news release.

 


 

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