Produce Update for 03/15/17
Gaps in supplies on multiple items in the Yuma, AZ growing region continues to drive markets up wildly. Based on this short supply situation and the advancing markets associated with these conditions we will be implementing a secondary temporary price increase on romaine. Effective Wednesday 3/15/2017
Produce Update for 03/14/17
Predictions of a turbulent finish to the desert season have become reality. Fields, once vigorous and green have gradually migrated to a tired spectrum of green, yellow, and brown. Harvest crew workmanship is being tested at levels rarely seen this past year. Variable weather patterns in all growing regions have increased the likelihood of a GAP for several commodities. Over the past 8 weeks, Yuma yields have been dramatically reduced by unseasonably fluctuating weather. Most recently, a Heat Wave has not only decreased yields but will also end the season ahead of the schedule. Temperatures this week are expected to be in excess of 90 degrees (more than 15 degrees above “normal” levels) and are expected to continue into the following week. This is taking its toll on quality for the remaining Yuma harvest.
Weather-related damage to remaining harvest has created scenarios where “Quality Exceptions” for Lettuce and Leafy Greens are a necessity. It is reasonable to expect that product harvested for the remainder of March will show issues in excess of typical in-house or USDA specifications to varying degrees. Our internal specifications for quality at harvest point remain unchanged; however, the inevitability of delivered product falling outside of “normal” specifications is clear.
Despite the numerous negative influences on quality we will face over this period, our unwavering goal remains to provide produce that is “as good as the best or better than the rest”. Volatility in supply is inevitable and communication and collaboration are the keys to actively navigate the associated turmoil in supply and quality.
-Tanimura & Antle