Florida's mature-greens, romas pull strong demand

12/06/2013 11:44:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

Roma demand remains high for Wimauma-based Tomato Thyme Corp., said Michael Lacey, director of sales and marketing.

“We have increased our contractual foodservice business,” he said. “Most of the foodservice purveyors want that medium to large sizes. We grow a specific variety. The growth is mainly due to foodservice.”

This fall, demand has remained strong on large and extra-large romas, DiMare said.

DiMare began roma production in early November and said bigger volume began in late November.

“The fall and winter time of the year, there’s not a lot of volume,” DiMare said. “Mexico produces the volume on romas in the winter. Romas here tend to be affected worse by the winter weather, especially rain, more so than the rounds.”

Chuck Weisinger, president and chief executive officer of Fort Myers-based Weis-Buy Farms Inc., said this season should bring stronger roma demand.

“There’s a lot of western demand for romas, and they’re still in short supply,” he said in mid-November. “We’re hoping there’s more volume in Florida this year.”

Weisinger said some growers stopped growing romas for this winter.

He said the deal doesn’t normally begin in real volume until mid-November, though new varieties have been pushing earlier starts.


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