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

Nogales, Ariz.-based broker Bernardi & Associates Inc. expects to market greenhouse-grown Mexican vegetables from September to the beginning of June, president Joe Bernardi said.

The company’s product roster this season will be heavily tilted towards round and roma tomatoes, with some bell peppers in the mix as well, he said.

Bernardi expects strong demand heading into the Mexican season this year, based on how the last few months have gone.

“Demand for everything this summer has been phenomenal,” he said. “It’s been well above normal pricing. I think the early stages of Nogales will benefit as well.”

Nogales-based Apache Produce Co. expects a similar mix of greenhouse and shadehouse vegetables from Mexico this season, general manager Alberto Maldonado, the company’s general manager.

Volumes to hold steady

Volumes also are expected to be largely unchanged from 2012-13, Maldonado said.

By about mid-September, Apache expected to begin importing tomatoes from the Nayarit growing region of Mexico, Maldonado said.

After two years of growing in the region on a mainly test basis, Apache is ramping up its imports this season.

“It’s not big, but little by little, we’re increasing volumes,” Maldonado said.

Apache will bring in both protected ag-grown rounds and romas from Nayarit through May or Jun and expects to start its Sinaloa greenhouse deal by mid-November.

English cucumbers will kick things off, with rounds and romas following in mid-December and colored bell peppers in early January.

Mike Aiton, marketing director for Coachella, Calif.-based Prime Time International, said the company expects to ship Mexican greenhouse vegetables from October through April.

Prime Time’s 2013-14 Mexican program will include red, yellow and orange peppers; and round, roma and grape tomatoes.

Romas are a new item for Prime Time out of Mexico, Aiton said.

Nogales-based Wholesum Family Farms expects its Mexican production to be in full swing in time for holiday promotions, said Anthony Totta, who does marketing for the company.

The company plans to market organic beefsteak, on-the-vine and cocktail tomatoes; hard and soft squash; cucumbers; bell peppers; and eggplant this season, Totta said.

Due to rising demand, Wholesum plans to add Mexican-grown English cucumbers and mini-cucumbers to its roster this year.

The company will take a gradual approach with the new items, but will have enough to meet the needs of customers who asked for them, Totta said.

“It’s not a massive amount, but it’s bigger than a trial,” he said.

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