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Last Update: April 15, 2014

 

COMMODITY ALERT: Honeydew and Cantaloupe running very large sizing. Very large spread on green grape prices depending on quality. Limes: We are seeing extreme shortages and markets out of Mexico brought on by bloom drop from tropical storms back in November. Apples and Pears: The eastern supplies are drying up and Washington is in large fruit so stay ahead on the smaller sizes! Strawberries: Good demand with Easter Pulls, which put this market into demand exceed supply situation.

 

WEATHER: The high-pressure ridge over the west coast begins to weaken today with a couple of approaching low pressure systems. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 60s near the coast with low 80s possible in the inland regions into the weekend. These mostly dry low pressure systems will move into the region through the week with increasing marine layer and just a slight chance of showers late this week.

 

FREIGHT: Trucks in California remain tight as we finish up the Easter pull. Trucks in Washington are steady but Idaho remains extremely tight. The national average on diesel fuel remained steady last week at 3.957 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 104.01 per barrel.

 

Commodity Updates

APPLES/PEARS
New York is still packing Empires, Macs’, Rome’s, & Red Delicious.  The New York varieties continue to peak on 100’s and larger. The market for 88’s and larger are steady while the 100’s and smaller are steady to higher but strong. Washington Reds are peaking on 100’s and larger while the 113’s and smaller are limited.  Larger size Reds are steady and the smaller sizes are higher.  Some suppliers will flex on volume orders of the larger size reds.  Golden Delicious are mostly steady and continue to peak on 80/88’s in the Washington extra-fancy grade. Grannies are steady and are still peaking on extra-fancy 88/100’s.  The granny-smith markets are strong esp. on the higher grades.  Galas are steady to higher and still peaking on 88/100’s but supplies are limited. Washington Fuji’s are higher and the market continues to rise due strong demand. Fuji’s are peaking on 80’s and larger.  A few shippers have Jonagolds but they are nearly finished for the season.  Washington D’Anjou pears are steady on the all sizes but they are peaking on larger fruit. Small D’Anjou’s remain limited.  Washington Bosc pears are steady and are still peaking on 100/110’s.   The demand for smaller Bosc is very strong.  Washington Red Pears are being quoted as steady but the supplies are light. 

ASPARAGUS
This market is firm to start the week. Supplies are light to moderate out of Salinas. Expect this market to get stronger in the upcoming weeks as we approach Mother’s day. The production in Mexico is light. The Production in Peru continues to be available loading in LA or Miami.

AVOCADO
Demand continues very strong on all sizes. Mexico’s supplies are lighter. Fruit quality is very nice. California growers are harvesting better volumes, but are not in a rush to harvest heavy volumes yet. The market is rising on 60’s and larger sizes.

BELL PEPPERS
Western Bells: Green bell market is steady and is still demand exceeds on larger fruit off grade and smaller fruit is settling.  Crops are currently shipping mostly from Sonora.   Sizing is heavier towards med and choice fruit; larger fruit is very scarce.  We are looking at some growers wrapping up or close to wrapping up in production sooner than seasonably customary.  New fields are expected to start soon but will be in lighter volume than Sinaloa. Southern California is has started but is mostly producing large fruit. Some gusty winds expected to be a factor for Mexican growing areas. Open field colored Red bell market is Higher but, some ranches are experiencing some minor gapping and/ or wrapping up.  Markets are higher as both Hot House and open field color bells are trying to find their spot. Quality is good in both open field and hothouse colored bells.  We do however see this market continuing light for the next couple of weeks and will be in demand exceeds for the remainder of the Nogales season. Gold bells markets continue steady availability depends on growing district.  Demand exceeds as Mexican production has started in earnest. We are starting to see some hot house product crossing but still light.
Eastern Bells: Green Bells are in good supply and seem to have stabilized on pricing.

BERRIES
Strawberries: The strawberry market will remain in a demand exceeds supply situation due to high Easter demand. The demand will start to back off staring middle of this week.  At the end of this month expect the start the Mother’s day pull which will put us right back into a demand exceed supply situations.  The best quality is coming out of Santa Maria; sizing is ranging from 14-18 count, and then followed by Oxnard ranging from 18-24 count. Watsonville/Salinas growing areas have started with limited supplies, fruit size is running large with sizing between 12-15 counts. Normal temperatures are expected (upper 60’s to lower 70’s) with heavy winds the front part of the week.  Please expect some delay at coolers since most the strawberries will be coming from fields.  I would recommend having all trucks to check in first with all strawberry coolers. 
Raspberries: The market is steady with moderate demand and building supply. Quality is being reported as good. Market should slowly weaken over the next couple of weeks. Mexico is still the main growing area with some light supplies coming out of Oxnard and Watsonville.
Blackberries: Blackberries supplies are improving which has this market starting to weaken.  Quality is fair to good depending on the lot. Demand is fair.
Blueberries: Main growing regions are coming out of Florida, Central Mexico, Baja, and California.  Inconstant weather patterns in Florida has affected harvest projection estimate by 60-80% with some shippers.   Supplies are limited out of Florida until front part of next week.  Florida and California have just started and should be up to full speed by the end of April.  Georgia is expecting to increase supplies out this region next couple weeks.   Quality is being reported as good out of California. The main pack is 6oz and 4.4oz with very limited supplies of larger packs. As they get up to speed larger packs will become more available. Market is steady.

BROCCOLI
The broccoli market is firm on bunched product as well as crowns.  Production in the Salinas Valley and Santa Maria are in full swing. Supplies are expected to be moderate throughout the week. Bunched product is not as readily available as crowns. The quality has been reported as good in all the growing regions. Better pricing on crowns can be had in Santa Maria.

CARROTS
Supplies on JBO carrots are improved with good growing conditions in Bakersfield. The
Market is steady.  Quality is good.

CAULIFLOWER
The cauliflower market is extremely active. Most shippers have begun the week sold out as contracts are a priority. There is little open product available to sell.  Supplies for this week are expected to be on the light side and expect pricing to increase.  Quality is average right now with some brown to yellow discoloration.

CELERY
The celery market is stronger with all suppliers. Shippers are no longer making sharp deals on large sizing as supplies have tightened up.  There is very little production in Santa Maria. The quality is still reported as being strong. Expect this market to be active throughout the week.

CITRUS
Lemons: Demand still remains very strong and is at historically high level for this time of year. Central Valley crop is in full production with 75% of their crop picked. The Ventura crop is starting to see better grow on the fruit and is picking better volumes. The demand for 165’s/200’s/235’s is exceeding supplies.
Oranges: Navel demand is increasing. Size structure is increasing, peaking on 72/88/56. Supplies on the smaller sizes of 113’s & 138’s are limited, and demand is exceeding supplies. We have started Valencia oranges; volumes are light as only a few shippers have begun packing in limit numbers. Market continues to firm upwards on all sizes.
Limes:  Supplies remain very limited and demand greatly exceeds supplies. This winter crop is Mexico’s light volume crop. This has been compound by tropical storms back in November which knocked many of the blooms off the trees. Many shippers are receiving only 20% of their normal supplies. This shortage is expected to go through April, and still felling the affects into late spring and early summer months. Market prices are extreme. Quality is just fair, with many lots showing weather related issues (Stylar, Brown spots and lighter color).

CUCUMBERS
Western Cucumber: Market is slightly higher.  Currently new fields are shipping out of Sonora and some lots out of Sinaloa.  Newer fields have started with good production. Weather for growing areas is expected to get warmer but, wind may be a factor.
Eastern Cucumbers: Cukes are going for 16 on supers and 12 on Selects.  Expect the market to stay steady with good quality.

EGGPLANT
Western Eggplant: Market is expected go Steady. Demand is outpacing current supplies.  Quality is good. We do expect demand to grow as Lenten season continues.  Winds in some growing areas may be a factor.
Eastern Eggplant: Eggs expect the market to stay steady with fair quality until new crop arrives.

GRAPES
Red grapes are steady with good availability on the east and west coasts this week. Green grapes are a mixed bag with up to a $10.00 spread depending on size and quality.  The remainder of the offshore season will stay this way.  Nogales and Coachella should get going the first week of May.

GREEN ONIONS
This market is unchanged. Expect pricing to stay steady throughout the week as supplies continue to exceed demand. Growing conditions continue to be ideal in the Mexico region. The quality overall has been reported as good.

LEAF LETTUCE
The green and red leaf markets are firm. Romaine continues to be light in availability, but pricing is firm. Salinas is the main growing region for all leaf items. Oxnard is also harvesting leaf. The weights are reported to be good on all leaf items. Occasional fringe burn, bug or blister and peel are showing up upon arrivals.

LETTUCE
This market is firm as the Easter pull dwindles. Supplies are light to moderate depending on the shipper. Salinas is the main region for the growth of this commodity. Huron will go a few more days with a few shippers. Light supplies exist in Santa Maria. Quality issues include misshapen heads, pinking, a little ribbing, and heavy weights.

MELONS
Cantaloupe: The east coast continues to have the majority of fruit available with better prices.  There are only a few players out west which is keeping the market firm.  We should see the first of the desert fruit the first week of May.
Honeydew:  Fruit continues to be large for offshore product with smaller fruit available out of Nogales Mexican product. The market remains steady.  Desert fruit should start up around the 10th of May.

ONIONS
The northwest shippers are steady to lower on yellows and reds.  Most shippers have finished packing for the season or are looking to clean up what they have left.  The northwest shippers are still short on Colossals and Supers.  Texas and Mexican yellows are steady to slightly lower on all sizes.  Both Texas and Mexico have limited availability on Colossal and larger yellows.  Reds are mostly steady in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho but most shippers have limited availability.  Mexican red supplies are lower and the market is up slightly. Most Idaho, Oregon, and Washington suppliers are finished with whites.  The Mexican white volume is good and the market is steady to lower.  The Mexican whites are heavier to jumbo and colossal.   The quality on the Mexican/Texas Whites has been good but they do have some greening.  The California desert and Vidalia, Georgia districts will start packing yellows next week and California will add reds and whites the following week.

POTATOES
The Idaho carton market is steady to slightly higher on 80-count and larger while 90’s and smaller are steady.  Most packers are running Burbanks now and will be for the balance of the storage season.  Some shippers are still dealing on volume orders of number-two's and 40-count.  Idaho Norkotahs are still limited in all sizes.  Most of the Burbank storage lots are smaller now so expect the 40 & 50 count markets to rise while the smaller counts will drop.  The quality on Idaho Norkotahs has been good to excellent while the Burbanks have been fair to excellent.  Washington is steady on all sizes.  Washington’s quality has been good.  The Colorado market is mostly steady but some shippers are higher because they have lighter storage supplies.  The quality in Colorado has been good and they are still peaking on the smaller counts.  Wisconsin is steady and the quality has ranged from poor to excellent.  Bakersfield, California continues to pack all colors.  The whites and gold’s are peaking on B-size while the Reds are peaking on A-size. Bakersfield red supplies are somewhat limited today but will improve as the week goes on.  Western Washington reds and golds are both steady to lower and still peaking on A-size.  The markets for both colors are steady to lower.  Washington’s season will finish in the next week or two. N.D. red potatoes are steady and continue to peak on Red A’s but supplies are light as the end of the season is near.  Florida continues packing mostly Reds, and a few Whites and gold’s.  The Florida market for all colors is stronger due to lighter supplies. The Florida reds are heavier to A-size while the whites and gold’s are peaking on B-size.  Idaho will finish with reds this week but will have gold’s through April.  Arizona will begin packing new-crop Reds on approximately April 28th.

SQUASH
Western Squash: Market is stabilizing on Italian yellow s/n is still demand exceeds supplies.    Most production is from southern Sonora and Sinaloa and we are experiencing a very short term gap.  Warmer weather is in the forecast and may help production on Italian squash. Yellow straight neck is still light in production but new lots ought to start soon. We are starting to see Sonora product in good numbers. Some windy weather may become a quality factor.
Eastern Squash: Squash is showing up in the plant city area and quality is getting better as we move into the new crop on both colors.

STONE FRUIT
Chilean stone fruit is available on both coasts with limited availability.  Few shippers have started harvesting this week in California.  Keep in mind it will be very limited until around the first or second week of May.  This is an earlier start than most years.

TOMATOES
Western/Mexico: Excellent growing conditions in Mexico last week have allowed prices to come down with an increase of rounds crossing the border. Yields have also increased on Romas pushing prices to their minimums. Prices are expected to remain low through the rest of the season clearing inventories before transition to new growing areas. Grape and Cherry tomatoes are still in high demand and prices remain firm. With the Florida market attracting buyers this week, Mexico will have to let go of inventories in order to compete near the end of the month. As demand builds over the next 10 days, prices will dip as inventories get backed up.  
Eastern Tomatoes: After several weeks of a strong market, round tomatoes have found relief on all sizes. Prices have began to soften as supplies are continuing to increase, however demand is expected to pick up as we get closer to Easter Sunday. Roma Tomatoes are steady with prices softening as an increase of crossings at the Mexico border is driving the market. Ideal growing conditions over the past couple of weeks have allowed cherry and grape tomatoes to flourish bringing prices down a couple of dollars this week. Overall the market is expected to remain relatively steady through next week with prices firming up as we draw closer to the holiday.

WATERMELON
Market is coming off slowly but remaining slightly static.  Current Nogales crossings are improving and so is availability.  Transitions are taking place and supplies seem to be increasing. New district crops will be at a premium.  Quality varies as some are harvesting from tired fields volume will remain light for the rest of the month.   Other districts have wrapped up and/or at same high FOBS.   Growers are projecting the lack of supplies to continue for the remainder of the month or until Northern spring crops start.  The spring crop will be mostly packed in bins and cartons will become lighter in supplies.

 

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

Bell Pepper (Eastern)

Good

Steady

Berries: Strawberries

Fair

Steady

Berries: Raspberries

Good

Steady

Berries: Blackberries

Fair

Lower

Berries: Blueberries

Good

Steady

Broccoli

Good

Steady

Carrots

Good

Steady

Cauliflower

Fair

Higher

Celery

Good

Higher

Citrus: Lemons

Good

Higher

Citrus: Oranges

Good

Higher

Cucumbers (Western)

Good

Higher

Cucumbers (Eastern)

Good

Steady

Eggplant (Western)

Good

Steady

Eggplant (Eastern)

Fair

Steady

Grapes, Green

Good

Higher

Grapes, Red

Good

 Steady

Green Onions

Good

Steady

Lettuce: Leaf

Fair

Steady

Lettuce: Iceberg

Fair

Higher

Melons: Cantaloupe

Good

Steady

Melons: Honeydew

Good

Steady

Onions

Good

Lower

Pears

Good

Steady

Potatoes

Good

Steady

Squash (Western)

Good

Steady

Squash (Eastern)

Good

Lower

Stone Fruit

Good

Steady

Tomatoes (Western)

Good

Lower

Tomatoes (Eastern)

Good

Lower

Watermelon

Good

Steady

 

Recent Events


EASTER SUNDAY DELIVERIES AND PRE-CUT ORDERS

We will be OPEN on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014 and delivering according to your normal schedule.

PRE-CUT orders for delivery on April 20 and/or April 21, need to be placed by FRIDAY, APRIL 18, by NOON.

If you have questions, please contact your Royal Sales Rep or our Customer Service team at 404.366.4299.


 

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.

 


Chefs to Earn Top Honors for Produce Excellence at United Fresh 2014 - Sponsored by PRO*ACT

Newly Expanded Categories to Honor Seven Chefs

United Fresh has opened the nomination period for the 2014 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program, which honors the foodservice industry’s most innovative produce performers. Read news release.

 


Learn 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.

Overview: "Advancing Sustainability from Seed to Fork"

Local Farmers: "You're an Expert in Growing. We're Experts in Distribution" | Local Farmer GFT Application

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

National Supplier Case Studies: Andy Boy | Grimmway | Naturipe | NewStar | Rainier

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

 

 

Atlanta Hospitality Partners Join Greener Fields Together

Greener Fields TogetherDining establishments that join Greener Fields Together proudly display this emblem to show their commitment to sustainable agriculture practices, food safety, and support of local community economies.

 

Ted's Montana Grill  

Press release

How Ted's supports sustainability (pg. 14)

"Restaurant chain seeks local produce via Greener Fields Together" - The Packer

 

Twain's Billiards & Tap

Twain's - Decatur is proud to be a part of Greener Fields Together to help bring good food from seed to fork in a safe, sustainable way.

Saltyard  

 

 

Fifth Group

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

From Seed to Fork features Fifth Group's partnership with Greener Fields Together.

 

Local Growers Join Greener Fields Together

           
Apple Wedge Packers & Cider  

Apple Wedge Packers & Cider
Hendersonville, N.C.

Apples and cider

 

 

Roberson Onion Co.

Roberson Onion Co.
Hazelhurst,
Georgia

Vidalia onions

 

         
Sweetwater Growers  

Sweetwater Growers
Canton, Georgia

Hydro watercress and hydro Bibb lettuce

 

 

StoneCreek Hydroponics

StoneCreek Hydroponics
Hartwell, Georgia

Hydro Bibb, red oak leaf, red romaine, green romaine, and frisée lettuces

 

         
 

 

 

Produce Professor