Cool weather delays start of Western greenhouse deals

01/10/2011 10:15:47 AM
Andy Nelson

Desert Glory, which has greenhouses in the Nayarit region of Mexico, was one of the lucky few not to be touched by those weather problems in 2009-10, Ambelang said.

But that didn’t mean the company was able to capitalize on the stronger demand. That’s because Desert Glory sells its product on contract in advance.

“When product is tight, it doesn’t help us,” he said.

“When the poor guys in Florida were wiped out, it didn’t help us. Quite honestly, last year was nothing but a headache.”

Ambelang said he looks forward to a significantly more headache-free season in 2010-11, with production returning to more normal levels for all growers — greenhouse and field-grown.

In December Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group was marketing greenhouse vegetables from California and Mexico, said Aaron Quon, the company’s greenhouse vegetable category manager.

This winter Oppenheimer is offering a full line of greenhouse vegetables including beefsteak, grape, strawberry, cocktail, yellow and orange on-the-vine tomatoes; red, yellow and orange peppers; long English cucumbers; mini cucumbers; and red and yellow organic bells, Quon said.

Nogales-based Apache Produce Co. expects a similar mix of greenhouse vegetables out of its Mexican growing operations in Sinaloa and — new this season — Nayarit, said Alberto Maldanado, the company’s general manager.

About 60% of Apache’s greenhouse production will likely be tomatoes, about 25% cucumbers and about 15% peppers, Maldanado said.

Those percentages haven’t changed much in several years, Maldanado said.

Nogales-based SunFed began shipping cucumbers, bell peppers and roma tomatoes from northern Sonora, Mexico, in late September, said Danny Mandel, a principal and chief executive officer.

The company is sourcing greenhouse product this season from 14 sites in Mexico, 11 of which are in Sonora and Sinaloa, Mandel said.


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