close
Fresh from the Field

This week’s fresh update

January 28, 2020 | Volume 7, Issue 4

Subscribe here

Conventional Vegetables

Peruvian asparagus imports are expected to slow down significantly this week. Most growers in Peru are pushing to close down plants by the first week of February. Many retailers are making the transition into fresh Mexican product out of Caborca. Volume has started to come on heavy out of that growing region and will be the main source of production from now through April. Expect to finally see some pricing relief and a lot more promotions at retail in the coming weeks.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Short term, we expect availability to remain plentiful both in Florida and Mexico. Long term, we do expect conditions to remain volatile; so, please stay away from any promotions until we start seeing consistent supply, which could be late February/beginning of March.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Broccoli supply is abundant in Mexico and California. This will remain a trend for another 2-4 weeks. Florida production will pick up in 1-2 weeks.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Cabbage is done in Georgia. Central and South Florida are in full production. Supply will exceed demand for another 2-3 weeks.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Supplies of celery are plentiful with most growers looking to promote over the next few weeks. Overall quality is reported as excellent. The weather in both the northern and southern California growing regions has been very mild for this time of year. The extended forecast calls for ideal growing conditions with no major frost or rain expected over the next 10 days. The primary shipping points for celery off the west coast are Brawley, Yuma, and Oxnard.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Sort term, production from Honduras is steady with good quality. Mexico is finally starting to show improvement with volume and quality. Availability is getting better each day, as some new fields are starting. We think this item will be good to promote after February 15th.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Sort term, production from Honduras is steady with good quality. Mexico is finally starting to show improvement with volume and quality. Availability is getting better each day, as some new fields are starting. We think this item will be good to promote after February 15th.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Supplies of Iceberg and most leaf lettuces have rebounded from the cold weather-driven slowdown earlier this month. Quality is great overall with very few reports of frost damage visible on the outer leaves. The weather forecast calls for continued mild conditions which will keep supplies abundant. Please reach out to your Robinson Fresh sales representative for promotional deals.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

We are locked and ready to go out of Washington, Colorado, and Alberta on the Rooster and Blonde Bella programs. Our Peruvian Sun and Anya varieties are available out of Colorado and Alberta. Looking forward, we will have Rooster and Blonde Bella available November 1st out of Prince Edward Island.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Squash availability continues to be a struggle bicoastal; both fields in Mexico and Florida are in trouble and will continue with low yields. Florida keeps getting hit with cold weather and Mexico is still feeling the impact of rains and overcast skies. We don’t foresee an abundancy situation until spring crops start in 5-6 weeks. Please refrain from promotional activity until then.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Limited volume of product is available as the weather is cool and harvests are spaced. Quality is good when available, but pricing will likely remain high. Corn is not a promotable item currently.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Conventional Fruits

The apple crop is harvested and in storage now. The overall Washington apple crop is large with estimates coming in around 138 million bushels which is an increase of over 16% versus last year’s crop. Last year, Washington had one of their smaller crops in the last 5 years that totaled only 117 million cases which negatively affected our case movements and sales. This year’s crop is a high-quality crop but has produced a smaller sized apple than last year and will have much less of the tray fruit in the 64 to 72-count range this season. But with that said, there will still be plenty of this larger tray fruit at attractive prices all season long. The biggest value and opportunity this season will be on the smaller fruit where there will be great opportunities with very attractive promotional prices through the spring of 2020. Currently there are also great promotional opportunities on Granny Smith, Red Delicious and Gala apples which currently have an abundance of fruit to move. The Pink Lady and premium Honeycrisp have become snug with prices moving up a little this week.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

The major demand pull for the Big Game is almost done and January prices held at the highest levels we have seen compared to previous years. The main driver of this pricing trend was the change in harvest volumes as we entered the Christmas and New Year holiday weeks. Prior to the holidays, growers were harvesting roughly 1,400 loads per week. During weeks 51, 52 and week 1, volumes dropped to 400-600 loads per week as growers took time off for the holidays. As production ramped after the holidays, the supply pipeline was almost empty and the new inbounds went out to customers just as fast as they were available for loading. Looking forward, we see the demand reducing some and pricing leveling off some as well over the next week. If the Big Game sales at retail are strong and the shelves are left bare next week, customers will likely need to restock soon as many buyers have been running low inventory levels due to higher costs and anticipating lower pricing in the future. Time will tell. There will be promotable volumes of avocados available from Mexico and California during the month of February. Please contact your Robinson Fresh Account Manager for details of how we can help you grow your avocado sales!
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Raspberries
Raspberries have tightened up significantly over the weekend. Ads, increased demand, and downward supply has compounded the shortages. Expect raspberries to be in a “demand exceeds supply” situation for at least the next 10 days.
Blackberries
Blackberries are still in heavy production and will be for weeks to come, with good supplies available.
Blueberries
Blueberries are still available in good supply; however, ads and updated post-holiday pricing are driving up demand. Much of the pile of fruit from the weekend is gone and we should see equilibrium this week between supply and demand.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Supplies are good on both coasts. FOBs have eased with demand easing as well. Offshore cantaloupe containers continue to arrive in Florida, and more are expected this week in California. Demand is expected to remain light and mostly steady. We do anticipate late in the month improving demand so we will keep you posted as we draw closer.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Oranges
California Navels are in full swing and growers are reporting that larger sizes are now more prevalent than smaller sizes. Sizes are peaking on 56s/72s and peaking fancy over choice. We have seen larger Navel prices stabilize in the last week or so. Small sizes have now become very scarce, especially 138s. As a result, we have seen those prices rise. Cara Caras are now available, and supplies are increasing.
Lemons
Desert lemons in District 3 are done. They are now coming out of District 2. California lemons are peaking at 115s/140s. Large lemon prices have subsided a bit in California as supplies start to keep up with demand. The Mexican lemon season has almost come to an end and we are seeing only large fruit left in Texas (75s/95s/115s).
Grapefruit
New crops of California grapefruit have started, and supplies are starting to become limited currently. Texas grapefruit is in full swing and we are starting to see healthy supplies there as well. Texas grapefruit are peaking towards 48/56 count and grade is favoring fancy over choice. Growers are telling us that large size grapefruit (32s and larger) will continue to be tight. However, you can find larger sizes here and there in smaller quantities.
Mandarins
Mandarins are in full swing in California right now. Prices have been steady because there is a good supply now. We are starting to see more and more large mandarins available. We are also starting to hear of quality issues as fruit is breaking down and some shippers are not shipping East due to the fruit not being able to hold up.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Imported grape inventories of both Peruvian and Chilean grapes remain limited into late January, with demand still exceeding supply on both coasts. All red seedless varieties (Crimson/Flame/Allison/Jack Salute/Sweet Celebration) remain very limited on the open market, with availability on green seedless varieties (Thompson/Sugraones/Sweet Globe/Timpson) continuing to improve with each week. Black seedless grapes are also still limited, with Red Globes available in mostly pallet volumes. Market pricing is still firm across nearly all grape varieties, fluctuating mostly depending upon sizing and availability. The industry should finally see some relief into early February, when Chilean shipments begin to arrive in greater numbers to supplement Peruvian arrivals.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Honeydews out of Nogales, Arizona, continue to be in light supply; however, supplies seem to be improving. Larger size fruit is much more abundant than smaller size fruit. We continue to cross our own honeydew crop out of Colima and have decent volume on that crop this week, heavier to large sizes.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

The Ecuadorian season is just about done. We still have a few containers on the water, but these should be received as early as next week. Ecuadorian mangos are still peaking on small fruit, but the volume has decreased compared to a few weeks ago and market has remained firm on small fruit. Peak arrivals from Peru will be received this week and next week in the Northeast. Overall quality is looking good and clean, with some reports of soft fruit which is causing several shippers to repack fruit prior to shipping. Peak sizing off the first few containers are on a 9/10 count followed by 8s.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

The weather in Colima has improved but fruit is still limited. Harvest has been delayed but we are expecting fruit to be available starting around the 2nd week of February. The fields are already showing the presence of clean fruit with most of the trees ready for harvest late-February. Supply remains limited with most shippers covering programs and contracts with little to nothing being offered daily in the open market. Overall volume will start to increase month over month until we hit our peak season closer to April. Current market is in the range of $21-$23 on all varieties.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

The domestic pear season is in full swing. All varieties are readily available in promotional volume. The quality is excellent. Argentina has begun harvesting Bartletts and the first arrivals will be at the end of February.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Pineapple

Pineapple (Offshore)
Gustavo.Lora@robinsonfresh.com
Last week for Costa Rica weather, we had the incoming Cold Front #17 affecting the northern part of Central America, generating a windy pattern over the country and variable-intensity rains showers in the North and Caribbean areas. The Intertropical Convergence Zone has been very active in the last few days and, due to its closeness to the Costa Rica coasts, will cause intermittent rain showers through the country. A low-pressure system is also developing which is rare for this time of year and it could possibly affect the growing regions in the next few days. Strong trade winds and rain showers will be the dominant conditions through the week with almost no sunlight. Again this week, some risk to quality due to current conditions. Production of 5 count is now back to normal and overall yields improving. Water spotting, pale fruit, and low brix will be the main issues to grade out. Ocean transport has been affected due to delays at docking over windy conditions. The USDA crossing report for week 03 is pending an update. The USDA is reporting good demand and steady market.

Pineapple (Mexican)
Jiovani.Guevara@robinsonfresh.com
Veracruz, Tabasco, and Colima are the primary Mexican growing regions for pineapples. Most of the Mexican pineapples cross by truck through border towns in Texas. There are light supplies this week with high demand on all sizes. Markets are higher than last week, and demand is exceeding supply. Quality is good, with good brix at 13%+. Limited supplies are available on all sizes, but we expect to see higher volume on all sizes to be available in the next couple of weeks. Please contact your sales representative with any questions.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Expect very light supplies in California due to cold weather and the Valentine’s Day pull. Santa Maria is getting some limited spring crop harvests and Baja fruit will continue to increase their supplies. There is strong demand for the Valentine’s Day pull with some shippers sold out. Santa Maria, California, is forecast for mostly sunny skies this week with highs in the 60s to 70s and lows in the 40s. Oxnard, California, is forecast for mostly sunny and breezy with highs in the 60s to 70s and lows in the 50s. Florida is forecast for a Wednesday afternoon shower, then partly sunny on Thursday, a Friday afternoon shower, a thunderstorm Saturday, and mostly cloudy on Sunday with highs in the 60s to low 70s and lows in the upper 40s to 50s.. Mexico is forecast to be sunny on Wednesday, mostly cloudy Thursday and Friday, showers Saturday, and cloudy on Sunday. Highs are forecast in the 70s for the week except for Thursday being in the 60s and lows in the 40s to 50s. Santa Maria, California, fruit has bruising, white shoulder, bronzing, water damage and misshapen. Average counts are 22 to 24, occasionally higher and lower. Oxnard, California, fruit has bruising, white shoulder, seedy tips and occasional scarring from wind damage. Average counts are 16 to 18, occasionally higher and lower.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Seedless and mini supplies are good with the low demand. We have supplies in Texas and Nogales on seedless. Southern Mexico will continue through March. We are seeing crossings on melons from Mexico into Nogales, Arizona, and Edinburg, Texas. We have good quality minis coming from Southern Mexico which have started in Nogales. There are good supplies of offshore melons right now. Our Yucatan, Mexico, seedless crop will begin mid-February.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Washington State had a good growing season in the fall of 2019 and finished their harvest in early November. This year’s organic crop was larger than the previous year, as well as another high-quality crop. Overall, the crop increased by around 20% over the previous crop, with good supplies on all varieties. The fruit size is running a couple sizes smaller than last year so expect an abundance of smaller fruit this year which will result in many promotional opportunities on bagged fruit. We currently have good availability on all varieties including organic Galas, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples along with many others. Expect the overall pricing to be lower this season with fantastic opportunities for promotions through spring.
^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic Consolidation

Bob.Stone@chrobinson.com

The Los Angeles Service Center (LASC) is in the right place to help you with your consolidation needs, given our location. We are over 60 miles closer to all the growing regions in the Arizona and California deserts than the LA Basin. We are in the heart of the citrus growing region, and just beyond the desert farms in the U.S. There is the border crossing in Nogales, Arizona, to bring the Mexican product into the country. All these locales flow naturally into the LASC where we intersect with over 5 major U.S. highways making the LASC the natural spot for all your consolidation needs. We have expanded our receiving hours and can now take your trucks at 04:00 giving them plenty of time to drop at the LASC and then head into the LA Basin before traffic. Our appointment phone line is 909-683-1695.
^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic Dry Vegetables

Bob.Stone@chrobinson.com

The early blights and abnormal weather in Mexico which have affected conventional dry vegetables have also affected organic dry vegetables. This situation continues to manifest itself in tight product and higher prices. Although the rain has abated, the cool weather is holding back the plants from bursting with product. Every day there seems to be another item that is gapping, yet it seems like we are seeing some relief in pricing and supply. However, the product which is out there is spread among a wide number of growers and regions. Therefore, feel free to call us and allow us to gather your organic dry vegetable needs.
^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic minis are done for the season.
^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic Onions

Bob.Stone@chrobinson.com

There are still plenty of Hummingbird shallots available. We will now be filling your organic onion needs with product grown by another family farm with over 30 years of organic history. We continue to have a hot deal for you on 50-pound sacks of red or yellow jumbo onions from them. However, one note of interest is that, of all varieties, yellow onions will continue to rise in price as the growers are concerned they have enough product to last until the new crop starts out of the desert in April. Call your sales representative for details on all sizes and colors.
^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic D’Anjou and Bosc remain available. Argentina has begun harvesting organic Bartletts and the first arrivals will land at the end of February.
^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic Potatoes out of Colorado are still going strong and supply and quality are still very good. We continue to do our Russets, reds (Roosters), yellow potatoes and fingerlings out of central Colorado. Markets are holding strong as demand has been very good. Organic Potatoes out of Klamath Falls, Oregon, is a new program to us this year and they are nice! We have Russets, reds (Roosters), and yellow available and are packing them up in 16/3 pound and 10/5 pound bags. Cartons are available as well. The quality is nice, and we still have good supply.
^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Supplies of organic product remains extremely short bicoastal due to excessive rainfall in the growing regions. We foresee for this to be a struggle until spring crops get going late-February. Please hold off promoting organic squash.
^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic Sweet Potatoes

Chris.Lemmon@robinsonfresh.com

Organic sweet potatoes out of Livingston, California, are going strong. We continue to have Beauregards, reds, whites, and purples available. Quality is outstanding and supply is good. Market has settled some but has seemed to leveled off and is holding steady now. We can do 40-pound 1s, mediums, and jumbos, along with a 12/3-pound bag.
^ Back to Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Transportation

We are accepting freight opportunities from all geographic areas. Twenty-four hour lead time is preferred but all transactional last-minute opportunities are accepted.

 

Michael.Moyski@chrobinson.com
^ Back to Transportation

Fresh from the kitchen

TURKEY CUTLET MILANESE

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup crushed corn flake crumbs

… More at Turkey Cutlet Milanese

^ Back to Kitchen