Florida: Tomatoes continue to be in a deep harvest down cycle due to previous damage caused from Hurricane Irma.
California: Finished for the season.
Baja California: Increased demand and a shortage of supplies out of Florida has created an active market.
Mexico: We will begin the main tomato harvest period by the end of December or beginning of January.
Roma Tomatoes: Eastern roma supplies have tightened, and volume peakingout of Baja California due to warmer temperatures. With increased demand from the Eastern U.S. expect the roma market to firm up to the high teens.
Grape Tomatoes: Crossings have slightly improved, though we continue to see all-time lows this week due to bloom drop and supply gaps in all Baja districts.
Cherry Tomatoes: Supplies will remain tight through mid-December.
Heirloom Tomatoes: Supplies are steady out of California and limited in Mexico. Quality continues to be struggle with green color and under sizing.
Outlook: Until Florida returns to consistent production levels, and Mexico starts up with volume, tomatoes will remain in short supply through December.
California: Cool, dry weather across California this week and a cold front approaching over the weekend. This system looks to bring rain early next week for the southwestern desert regions.
Mexico: Persistent high pressure across Mexico will keep the region warm and dry moderating slightly cooler temperatures as the cold front passes to the north.
Florida: Mostly dry conditions through the week with a chance of showers and cooler temperatures expected early next week.
Organic Heirloom Tomatoes: Supplies will become even more of a challenge over the next two weeks. Only two growers remain in production against very little volume, marginal quality and light color.
Organic Hot House Tomatoes: Production improving out of Mexico.
Organic Cluster Tomatoes: Steady supplies out of Mexico.
Organic Cherry Tomatoes: Production has finished in California. New plantings out of Mexico are set to begin mid-December.
Organic Grape Tomatoes: Supplies remain extremely tight out of Mexico.
Organic Roma Tomatoes: The market is elevating due to the lack of available vine ripe tomatoes.
Organic Vine Ripe Tomatoes: Non-existent supply.
Strawberries: Favorable weather conditions in Southern California are forecasted. Shippers are expecting increased yields and volume for the remainder of the week. Florida harvest continues to improve, helping east coast suppliers and relieving some demand pressure on the west coast. With increased volume, market prices are expected to drop quickly.
Blueberries: Production has dramatically declined. Chile has begun shipping a very small amount of airfreight, though will not arrive to the U.S. for another three weeks.
Eastern: Green bell peppers supplies remain tight as most Georgia shippers are finished for the season, and Florida growers are still not generating sufficient volume. Even with light supplies, the market seems to be peaking with increased supplies in the west and Florida growers set to hit more volume next week. Demand is off after the Thanksgiving holiday. Excellent quality being reported.
Western: Volume has passed peak volume on green bell peppers out of Coachella. Supplies are gradually starting to increase from Mexico, elevated temperatures are affecting sizing. Peppers are maturing at a smaller size than normal. Red and yellow bell pepper supplies remain extremely tight. Coachella has low production with some growers expecting elevated volume in the coming days. The market is anticipated to remain strong until Coachella reaches peak volume in early December.
Mexico: Volume remains steady into the U.S. but supplies are expected to tighten by the beginning of next week. Prices are weak, particularly on 60-count and smaller sizes. Good quality being reported including high oil content, creating a creamy texture and nutty flavor.
Lemons: The market is extremely active. This year’s desert crop is significantly reduced and shippers are seeing production start to fall off. The Central Valley has just begun harvest, packing limited volume consisting of mostly fancy grade. Demand remains strong and exceeding supplies.
Limes: Demand remains steady, though shippers are expecting a push through the holidays. Good quality being reported with consistent sizing. With improving supplies expected over the next 2-3 weeks, the market could potentially become more active.
Prices are expected to remain steady through December, with no weather events forecasted during the upcoming weeks. Supplies are dominated by medium and jumbo sizes; colossal and super colossal onions will be limited through the storage crop season. Transportation has slightly improved this week, though will tighten right back up as we get closer to the next set of holidays.
TidBits is a blog by Veg-Fresh Farms, a place to find training, trends, recipes, and more. Check back weekly for retail and food service insights, as well as what's happening in the Veg-Fresh Farms Test Kitchen.