Round Tomato supplies have become exceedingly tight this week as Florida and Mexico transition from spring to summer crops and demand increases. Mexico will be in a two week gap without any major production until the next region is producing good volumes, hopefully in early June. The shortfall in Mexico puts added pressure on Florida which is already facing a shortage. Social distancing is adding stress and inefficiency to the harvests; overall labor and productivity is far below normal.
Adding to the shortage, many acres were plowed under at the start of the virus when food service demand came to a halt. Crops intended for harvest during the summer were not planted in the spring due to market uncertainty. Round tomato pricing is drastically elevated and will remain so for weeks or longer depending on the potential Mexican supply. Demand will play a big part in any changes to pricing and supplies. As more food service operators start to reopen, it will put more strain on an already tight supply.
Stay tuned for more updates on round tomatoes and other produce news.