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March 24, 2014

Something To Think About

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up."
- Thomas Alva Edison

March 24, 2014

Fresh Facts

The FreshFacts on Retail report, produced in partnership with the Nielsen Perishables Group and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce, measures retail price and sales trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities, as well as value-added, organic and other produce categories.

Highlights of the “year in review” produce report include:
• Over the past year, all of the top 10 fruits posted volume increases.
• Fruits’ average weekly dollar sales increased 4.5 percent versus 2012
• All of the top 10 vegetables posted increases in weekly dollar sales
• Among value-added fruit categories, fruit and fresh-cut fruit both posted increases in weekly dollar sales
• Snacking value-added vegetables posted an increase of 15 percent in weekly dollar sales
• Avocadoes posted the highest growth in the fruit category, with dollar sales increasing 11.7 percent and volume increasing 10.3 percent
• Packaged salad and tomatoes, the two top-selling vegetable categories in 2013, increased dollar sales 6.7 percent and 3.4 percent

This quarters’ FreshFacts report also features a spotlight on organic produce. Recent trends show that even with increases in retail prices, volume sales continue to grow in all organic fruit and vegetable categories. The growing demand for organic produce resulted in dollar and volume increases, roughly 20 percent for both organic fruits and vegetables overall.

Source: Progressive Grocer

March 24, 2014

Market News

Limes: Since the beginning of February, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Shipping Point price for seedless limes in 40lb cartons has risen from US$16.68 to US$72.43 – more than a fourfold increase. The main cause of this huge spike in price is due to production issues from Mexico, which accounts for 98% of the volume reported by the USDA. According several sources, including Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food and the USDA, the culprits behind this radical drop in production are citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing or ‘HLB’) and the hurricanes that brought excesses of rain to the growing areas.
Valencia Oranges: With harvest just a few weeks away, Valencia orange trees in California’s Central Valley are showing good volume despite the December freeze, according to a survey of growers. The average March 1 diameter was 2.571 inches, slightly larger than the five-year average of 2.566, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service objective measurement survey. The agency predicts the summertime crop will come in at 24 million cartons, down from about 25 million cartons last year.
Sweet Onions: New crop sweet onions are off to a late start in 2014.The cool weather in Texas was enough to delay the growth of the actual onion bulb, which is virtually dormant until the latter stages of the growth cycle. Mexican production was delayed by cooler temperatures as well. And after an off 2013, when Mexican production declined, there has been little progress toward approaching 2012 levels and some in the deal believe Mexican production actually decreased again this season. A positive note for Texas growers is the fact that Vidalia, GA, onion growers also experienced a much cooler winter than typical. The start of the Vidalia season will be delayed by the weather, but promotable volumes and good quality is expected.

Source: Fresh Fruit Portal, Capital Press, The Produce News, (2)

March 24, 2014

About the Water

Thousands of acres of tree fruit orchards are in jeopardy of having no water because of a crack in Wanapum Dam causing drawdowns of the Columbia River behind Wanapum and Rock Island dams. The situation is urgent with growers needing water within in the next few weeks for late dormant sprays, frost protection and soon thereafter for watering trees, said Bruce Grim, executive director of the Washington State Horticultural Association in Wenatchee.

Source: Capital Press

July 25, 2012

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