December 6, 2018

Greener Fields Together
On Tuesday we hosted an event to introduce our sustainability initiative
Greener Fields Together to our local community.
VINELAND, N.J. - An event was held in Vineland to help bring the produce industry together to learn from each other. 
If you're interested in becoming a Greener Fields Together Hospitality Partner, reach out to your account manager!

Commodity Updates
Overall quality is good. Mexico is currently at its peak of the season. Fruit is cutting well and east great. Suppliers are reporting a better supply of ripe and preconditioned fruit
this week as they are seeing inventories replenish quickly.
Demand exceeds supply. California finished up, and sizing in Yuma has been extremely slow due to colder weather. Grower-shippers are beginning to pro-rate orders.

Domestic grapes are starting to wind down. Imports will begin around the new year.
Industry-wide, these markets are extremely volatile. The romaine situation is behind us, but extreme demand continues on other lettuces, baby greens, and salad blends. Industry-wide, these markets are extremely volatile. Cold temperatures and rain in the forcast for Yuma will make the situation worse. The latest information on romaine is below.
California Navels are plentiful; quality is excellent.
 Bartlett, Bosc, and Red Pears are abundant with excellent quality.
Industry-wind, we're anticipating tighter supplies now through January. "Basal Staining" in Costa Rica is significantly affecting supplies from this growing region.  Basal Staining causes a discolored ring around the base of the pineapples causing too much moisture in the soil from previous heavy rains. Shippers have stepped up their selection process for packing to ensure the best quality arrives, this will cause lower volumes moving
forward. (Ecuador and Nicaragua are not experiencing this quality defect, but their production will not be able to fill the supply gap from Costa Rica.)

The timing of this situation, unfortunately coincides with Christmas Demand. Volumes should gradually increase as we move through the first quarter of 2019.
Nectarines, Peaches, and Plums finished domestically. They will not be available until Chilean becomes available around the beginning of January.
Industry-wide, supplies are extremely limited and quality is fair. The California growing regions (Salinas, Santa Maria, and Oxnard) have experienced some substantial rain over the last week. Mexico also saw some rain slowing down their production. Shortages began last week. Market prices are climbing and grower-shippers will be prorating orders.
In regard to quality, it is important to be very clear on expectations. This fruit has been rained on for several days and will continue to be rained on this week. The berries will be fair quality at best. Although shippers are working through the fields and doing their best to pack only the best quality, they must manually handle each individual berry prior to it being placed in the clamshell. As a result of being rained on and water soaked, the berries are very sensitive to the slightest touch. In most cases, the bruising occurs post harvest and is not visible at the time of harvest. Expect bruising, discoloration, soft berries, and early decay. Maintaining the cold-chain is imperative. Avoid use. If you have to, order your strawberries conservatively as the shelf-life is what you expect.

There is a national shortage of tomatoes, of which Roma tomatoes are extremely
short. As Florida season gets started with light supply, and Mexico farms struggle
against crop loss from weather related setbacks, supplies continue to run short each week
as steady demand sustains an elevated market.

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