Greenhouse growers expect increased production

03/15/2013 01:45:00 PM
Andy Nelson

The company expects to ship cluster, cocktail and beefsteak tomatoes year-round, and it plans to stick with its tried-and-true Northeast regional distribution strategy, Cunniff said.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group expects to ship sweet bell peppers from its growing partner Divemex year-round from Etzatlan and Culiacan, Mexico, though in the summer the company plans to focus on conventionally grown Fair Trade certified peppers, said Aaron Quon, Oppenheimer’s greenhouse and vegetable category director.

Oppenheimer also plans to source British Columbia-grown long English cucumbers under the SunSelect and other brands year-round in 2013, Quon said.

Red, yellow and orange sweet bell peppers from British Columbia, also packed in the SunSelect label, should be available from Oppenheimer from April through November this year.

Beefsteak tomatoes are slated to ship from April through late October from British Columbia, Quon said.

Oppenheimer also expects to market greenhouse-grown organic cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes and a year-round supply of basil, cilantro, mint and parsley and seasonal supplies of lemon, red and Thai basil, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, mizuna, oregano and other herbs grown by Kitchen Pick, Quon said

Through late February, 2013 had been a fairly normal growing year in British Columbia, Quon said.

“It’s been a fairly typical late winter in BC, with temperatures slowly warming and daylight hours extending slowly but surely.”

Mike Aiton, marketing director at Prime Time International, Coachella, Calif., said his company in 2013 plans to again source greenhouse vegetables nine months out of the year, taking the summer off during peak California field production.

Prime Time grows colored bell peppers, mini sweet bells and tomatoes under glass, mesh and plastic and sources from three growing regions: mainland Mexico, Baja California and California’s Coachella Valley.

“It’s an important part of our business,” he said.

Prime Time’s greenhouse production typically has two peaks, Aiton said, with the first in November and the second in April and May. But the company’s different greenhouse growing regions don’t peak at different times.

“Our production is pretty well spread out,” he said. “We manage it so we have steady supplies. We’ve had our loose and bagged programs in place for a long time.”

Production has increased the past two years at Prime Time’s Coachella and Baja greenhouse facilities, but mainland Mexican production has remained steady, Aiton said.


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