Fresh tomato supply eases back to norm - The Packer

Fresh tomato supply eases back to norm

05/20/2011 12:35:00 PM
Dan Gailbraith

About 75% of the company’s volume is round tomatoes, and 25% is romas, he said.

Cook said he hopes for a better year than last season, which he characterized as “a weird year” with below-normal temperatures that caused the tomatoes to hold back.

When the crop finally came on, it was all at once in September and October and ended early in November.

“It was not much of a deal. There never was a very good market,” he said. “It was very disappointing.”

Bernardi & Associates experienced some planting delays in California, but Bernardi expects warm weather in May and June to help the plants catch up.

“We’re probably looking at a start time in Central California of about June 15-20, which is normal,” he said.

Quality should be good, Bernardi added.

The company offers mostly round, mature-green tomatoes packed in 15-pound cartons from its California growing area.

Vine-ripes, which the company sources from Mexico, typically are packed in two-layer cartons with some color already on the vine, he said.

Foodservice buyers usually buy more mature-greens, he said, while retailers like vine-ripes, but that’s not written in stone.

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