Oppenheimer adds Fair Trade pepper

12/04/2013 03:32:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Guadalajara, Mexico-based Divemex, whose peppers are marketed by The Oppenheimer Group, has added a Fair Trade-certified green pepper to its existing mix of red, yellow and orange.

The move not only made greens available but also led to a new packaging option.

“Since Divemex is producing green peppers this season, we plan to offer a traffic-light style bag with green, yellow and red,” said Aaron Quon, greenhouse and vegetable category director at Vancouver-based The Oppenheimer Group.

Other pack styles include 2-pound bags and three- and six-packs.

Divemex planted an additional 60 hectares in Culiacan.

“This should translate to about 600,000 new cases of conventional peppers,” Quon said.

Last season Divemex nearly doubled production of its Fair Trade peppers after certification of its Etzatlan, Mexico, greenhouse. The grower is converting some of its conventional facilities to organic, giving a boost to organic pepper volumes.

About 11% of consumers buy Fair Trade products, according to studies by Fair Trade USA. Most of that action happens in the Northeast and western U.S.

“At Oppy, we are seeing increasing demands for Fair Trade-certified items as retailers endeavor to differentiate themselves and offer their shoppers more relevant options,” Quon said.

Oppenheimer markets conventional greenhouse-grown red, yellow and orange peppers from Divemex from October through May.

Divemex organic peppers become available in January and stay in season through May. Conventional green peppers were expected to start in early December and wrap up around the same time as organic.

Oppenheimer also offers Mexican greenhouse long English cucumbers from November through April; roma tomatoes December to mid-May; slicer cucumbers December through May; and tomatoes on the vine January through May.

The company expects typical volumes and timing on vegetables for the winter season.

Its fruits from Mexico include blackberries from October through June; strawberries late November through mid-April; and avocados and pineapples year-round. Grapes come in the late May to early July window.



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