“They’re just not thoughtful about it,” he said. “It’s just kind of a reaction. At the end of the day, fruit seems to show up.”
Eastham agreed with Pandol that some grapes that normally would go to Europe could instead wind up in the U.S., potentially resulting in a similar-sized crop as last season.
Not knowing the exact extent of damage has made it difficult for companies like Pacific Trellis to set up programs with U.S. retailers.
“At this point, we have to tell them that we’ll get back to them in November, or that we may not be able to provide a certain amount and certain varieties every week,” Eastham said.
Chilean fruit also could arrive less frequently than usual, particularly on the West Coast, Eastham said.
“Containers could be hard to get,” she said. “Instead of two or three vessels per week, it could be one or two.”