The Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles, is tasting success at filling a gap in its late winter and spring lineup — watermelons.
“Over the past few years, we’ve been experimenting and planting watermelon trials in several areas in Mexico,” said Gil Munguia, division manager for Giumarra Nogales.
“Historically, we’d have a production gap from early January through early April.”
No more, though, as full commercial production is underway in Michoacan, Colima, Baja California Sur and Sinaloa. Volume for the timeframe has more than doubled.
As April approaches, the grower-shipper will transition from southern Mexico to Sonora for its largest, long-established deal.
“Our Sonoran crop will break a little earlier this year, most likely during the third week of March,” Munguia said.
“We’ve increased hectarage by 20% and doubled the size of our packing facility in Guaymas.”
“Our team worked meticulously determining which varieties and growing practices produce the best quality and flavor profile in each area,” he said of the new southern deal.
Vegetable volumes at Giumarra are on par with last spring’s numbers, apart from a slight increase on European cucumbers.
For asparagus, Giumarra Borquez LLC production — which carries a Fair Trade label — came online a few weeks after the Caborca deal had started.
“Pablo Borquez is in a different area (Obregon) so we go February through early May with his asparagus,” said Gary Caloroso, Giumarra Borquez and Giumarra Agricom International director of marketing for asparagus and avocados.
“Supply looks good and we expect great quality.” Caborca started in January.
The grower-shipper sources avocados year-round from Mexico, out of Michoacan.
“We’re getting stable supply out of there and expect that to continue for the rest of the season,” Caloroso said Feb. 7. “We just had maybe the largest pull of avocados ever for the Super Bowl from the entire industry. Now we’re gearing up for the rest of that season.”
“The California fruit is starting to enter the system,” he said. “This year will be lighter volume. Their last was around 500 million pounds. This year the California Avocado Commission is projecting 325 million.”
Avocados are an alternate-bearing crop.