Strong demand expected for Mexican greenhouse vegetables - The Packer

Strong demand expected for Mexican greenhouse vegetables

09/23/2013 01:26:00 PM
Andy Nelson

Courtesy JemD FarmsGrower-shippers and importers of Mexican greenhouse vegetables look forward to strong demand as deals kick off this fall.

JemD Farms, Leamington, Ontario, ships from Mexico year round, but production this season should peak between mid-September and mid-May, president Jim DiMenna said.

JemD sources cluster, beefsteak, grape, cocktail and other specialty tomatoes; eggplant; and colored bell peppers from its all-glass, high-tech greenhouses in Mexico.

The company also has a small cucumber deal, which this season should run from about Nov. 1 to about March 1, DiMenna said.

“So many cucumbers are grown up here in Canada, we don’t grow many in Mexico,” he said. “We have a small deal, but it doesn’t move the needle much.”

Beefed-up production

JemD has increased Mexican production of its greenhouse-grown clusters and beefsteaks and its Artisan-brand and other specialty tomatoes, DiMenna said.

Aaron Quon, greenhouse and vegetables category director for The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, said Oppenheimer expects to market conventional greenhouse-grown red, yellow and orange peppers from grower partner Divemex from October through May.

Organic product should be available in January and ship through May, Quon said.

Conventional green peppers start in early December and end in May. Oppenheimer also sources Mexican greenhouse tomatoes on the vine, long English cucumbers, slicer cucumbers and roma tomatoes throughout the winter.

Mexican greenhouse-grown peppers should be a growth item for Oppenheimer this year, Quon said.

“Divemex has planted an additional 60 hectares in Culiacan. This translates to about 600,000 new cases of conventional peppers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Divemex is also converting some of its existing conventional facilities to organic, so Oppenheimer anticipates a significant boost in its organic pepper program.

While red, orange and yellow remain the popular colors for greenhouse-grown peppers, Oppenheimer also will see a return to an old favorite this season.

“Divemex is reintroducing a green pepper, providing our customers with the option of a high-quality, greenhouse-grown green pepper,” Quon said.

Divemex’s green peppers, like its colored ones, are Fair Trade certified, Quon said.

Oppenheimer also expects a boost in its slicer cucumber sales this season.

“Slicers have become increasingly popular with our customers over the last few years,” he said.

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