Mexican vegetable deal flourishing
Mexico’s vegetable business has been flourishing since the fall. All indications are for strength in the business until at least June.
At Fresh Farms LLC in Rio Rico, AZ, David Watson, senior vice president of sales and marketing and Fresh Farms’ veteran salesman Alan Voll spoke with FreshFruitPortal.com on Feb. 22 about their Mexican vegetable deal, and other interesting aspects of company growth.
As to the Mexican vegetable business, Voll reports everything is going “full bloom” for Fresh Farms. Farms’ largest vegetable volumes involve squash, cucumbers, green and colored bell peppers, sweet corn, pickles and soft and hard squashes. These commodities seasonally came onto the market about Oct. 1 and will be shipped at least until June 1. Mexican growers can extend production for as long as domestic U.S. production doesn’t fill the market.
While growing conditions have been favorable for many vegetables, it has been an unusual year. Voll says the fall and winter brought one of the coolest seasons in several years. This winter also saw more precipitation than normal and, since early January, “very, very low nighttime temperatures.” Cool weather boosted the strength of cucumbers and squash. Colored peppers would have colored up more quickly with more warmth.
With cool and damp weather “the numbers overall are down, which is actually a blessing,” Voll notes. A lower-than-expected supply proved advantageous because economic remnants of the Covid pandemic continue to haunt retail produce sales. The largest national retailers are again aggressively buying and offering a strong selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. But promotions offered by mid-size chains across the country “are not what they were five years ago.” Those retail buyers tend to buy mixers over straight loads of produce because they’re unsure of how much foot traffic will shop their stores.
For shippers like Fresh Farms, increased numbers of contracts have been an “outstanding” positive and allows for steady distribution to customers. “Anytime a grower can go to bed and know what his prices are, he’ll sleep much better. And so do we.” Voll iterates that Fresh Farms’ job is to return the best-possible prices to growers.
Voll notes the market conditions make it a blessing that cold weather helped to balance yields and production.
Fresh Farms melons
This spring Fresh Farms is increasing its watermelon and cantaloupe offerings. Voll says national watermelon consumption is increasing and it is feeding the trend.
A new campaign
Fresh Farms has launched a new marketing campaign and you will see the fresh new look on all its branding. Reflecting the companies Family, Fun, Healthy, Innovative and trust worthy spirit… you will see the new colors and tag line “Taste to Believe”.