Berry Update – 5/23/24

Berries are a staple commodity at this time of year, read more below for what’s happening in the market …

Strawberries:

  • Salinas/Watsonville: Cooler temperatures are keeping production manageable for most shippers. There is still a good amount of fruit available, and volume orders are flexible going into the weekend.
  • Santa Maria: This area is on a downward plant life cycle, with gradually declining numbers expected as we move into June. Below-normal temperatures are slowing production slightly, spreading volume further into next week.

Blueberries:

Several areas are producing blueberries, including Central Mexico, Baja, Central Coast California, and Georgia. We will see an abundance of product over the next few weeks.

Blackberries:

We are experiencing a flush of blackberries currently out of Central Mexico, with very strong increases in production against only moderate demand.

Raspberries:

Recent light supplies have increased to growing availability. Stronger numbers are expected as we move into June.

 

Seashore Fruit & Produce Co in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest products available to us.

Warehouse – Forklift Operator Nightshift

Evening and Night Flexible Hours available. 4pm – 12 am, 12 am- 8am, part time, flexible time available

Job Description: Responsible for all aspects slot replenishments, restacking pallets, product put-away, unloading trailers and clean up within the warehouse

Duties:

* Be able to use and understand proper fork lift operation, including ALL safety rules and driving procedures
* Have a general understanding of computer-based inventory systems (WMS)
* Know how to or be able to be trained to “build” pallets of product
* Have a general understanding of produce and produce quality
* Be able to communicate to supervisors on product quality and job duty understandings
* Work in an efficient and orderly manner suited to the business
* Work in a cold/refrigerated environment
* Know the policy of “FIFO” First In First Out product system
* Understand how to stage orders for the loaders, and to be able to load trucks in an orderly way
* To learn, know and understand receiving procedures and all procedures, system related
* Have a knowledge of food safety issues and be able to identify and communicate food safety issues to their supervisors
* Have general cleaning skills
* Perform related duties as required by ALL Supervision

Job Requirements and Definition:

* Have an open availability to work first, second and/or third shifts as well as the ability and understanding that you may work Saturday & Sunday’ and holidays* Extensive produce knowledge, including warehousing, storage and shipping
* Excellent organizational skills
* The ability to perform ALL job functions assigned with limited supervision
* Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
* Be a team player

* Extensive produce knowledge, including, warehousing, storage, shipping
* Follow quality service standards and comply with policies, procedures, rules and regulation

 

Apply Now

Crop Update – 5/16/24

Numerous factors are contributing to the current quality and supply issues in California. While weather patterns are the main factor, the problems began with heavy winter rains that delayed and disrupted planting schedules, along with an overall lack of labor. Most spring crops were planted over the winter and have been in the ground for a long time, providing ample opportunities for problems to arise in the fields. Recently, cool temperatures and a persistent, deep marine layer have been major culprits, affecting the coastal valleys through May.

Romaine and iceberg lettuce production continues to suffer from anthracnose, sclerotinia, mold, and mildew, leading to lighter yields as growers work through affected acreage. Production is showing smaller head sizes with less solidity and density, contributing to lighter carton weights. Inconsistent temperatures and moisture have also increased spotting, oxidation (pinking), and rib blight. Processed items are likely to experience more bruising, discoloration, and breakdown, affecting quality and shelf life. Growers reaching for supplies are harvesting early to meet current demand, leaving less available acreage as the season progresses. This may lead to short-term supply shortages, especially in iceberg, romaine, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Spinach, spring mix, and other tender baby leaf items are susceptible to mildew issues due to dense plantings in moist weather conditions. Bacterial spotting is currently being reported in cilantro and parsley stands, drastically reducing yields in the near term. Mix items such as cabbage, Bok Choy, and Napa are also vulnerable to supply shortages as cool temperatures slow growth rates. Long-range forecasts continue to show a cooler-than-normal pattern with a dense marine layer and fog through May.

The heavy rains this winter have also led to tremendous growth of weeds and grasses throughout the region, providing ample harborage and food supply for insects and other unwanted pests. Rodents, reptiles, and amphibians will have plenty of food and hiding spots due to the super bloom of flowers, weeds, and grasses, likely increasing pest populations this season.

Seashore Fruit & Produce Co. in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest products available to us.

Spring Harvest Update – 4/18/24

As we step into the spring season, our fields are abuzz with anticipation for a plentiful harvest. Here’s an overview of what’s unfolding:

In Coachella, the summer program is off to a gentle start, with cooler weather and recent rainfall slightly delaying production. However, as temperatures rise in the coming days, we expect a surge in summer squash output, with Green Bell peppers set to join the lineup on April 22nd. While initial supplies may be limited, we’re primed to see an uptick in availability as the season progresses. Hot Chili peppers, including Jalapeno and Serrano varieties, are slated to follow shortly thereafter, adding a zesty kick to our offerings. Meanwhile, American Eggplant is gearing up for its debut on May 5th, rounding out our diverse selection of fresh produce.

In the Selma fields of Fresno County, preparations are underway for the upcoming harvest. With warmer weather on the horizon and summer squashes scheduled to hit the shelves on May 5th, we’re optimistic about the season ahead. Our team is committed to delivering top-quality produce straight from the fields to your table.

Marketwise, we’re navigating through some challenges. Hot pepper markets are seeing an uptick, driven by supply gaps stemming from earlier weather disruptions in Mexico. While South Florida grapples with limited chili supply, we’re hopeful for increased availability from Central FL in the coming weeks. Despite these fluctuations, we’re dedicated to ensuring a steady supply of fresh, high-quality produce to meet your needs.

Seashore in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this transition and source the freshest product available to us! Stay tuned for more updates as we embark on this exciting spring harvest journey!

Cold Front Impacts Cali Growing

As a cold low-pressure system sweeps into California, growers across the state prepare for significant weather challenges. This system, expected to bring the coldest temperatures of the year, is poised to deliver light to moderate rainfall and potentially induce freeze and frost conditions in inland valleys such as Salinas and Santa Maria.

Forecast models indicate precipitation levels ranging between ¼” to ¾” through Saturday, accompanied by robust winds clocking in at 20-35mph, affecting not only California but also the Southwestern Desert regions. Following this initial bout of inclement weather, another weaker system is forecasted for Sunday, extending the chilly conditions into early next week.

The timing of these weather events complicates growers’ transitions from desert regions to coastal valleys, including Oxnard, Santa Maria, and Salinas. Here, the impact of rain and cool temperatures is palpable, affecting growth rates and field work, especially noticeable in crops like strawberries across Southern California.

Meanwhile, in the Southwest Desert region, growers grapple with mounting mildew issues, exacerbated by recent rains. As production nears its end, remaining acreage faces challenges from dehydration, driven by strong winds that adversely affect texture and shelf life. Persistent insect pressure further compounds these challenges, potentially resulting in premature pinking and other quality concerns in late-season supplies.

With weather-induced quality issues looming large, effective rotation management becomes paramount for growers across the state. Monitoring upcoming weather patterns will be essential in gauging their impact on supplies and overall product quality.

Seashore in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this region and source the freshest products available to us.

Spring’s Abundance Brings Strong Demand

As we step into the spring season, the market is abuzz with activity and robust demand. However, certain factors are contributing to unique challenges and opportunities in the fresh fruit landscape.

Cantaloupes and Honeydews: The market for cantaloupes and honeydews remains tight due to various factors such as vessel delays, holiday fluctuations, and retail promotions impacting loading schedules. Limited honeydew supply from Mexico is intensifying demand, especially from Florida.

Strawberries: California production from Santa Maria and Oxnard is on the rise, yet demand remains light, keeping markets steady. Anticipated migration of business back to the West Coast from Central Mexico and Florida ahead of Easter is expected to boost demand. Baja, AZ yields are substantially up with excellent quality reported, ensuring higher production levels.

Blueberries: Good availability is noted from Chile, Central Mexico, and Baja, AZ, with California and Georgia gearing up for their respective seasons.

Blackberries: Light numbers from Central Mexico are expected due to logistical challenges around Holy Week. California and Georgia productions are slated for availability in April.

Raspberries: Production is increasing from Central Mexico and Baja, AZ, particularly in organic offerings.

With these insights, navigating the dynamic fresh produce market becomes easier, ensuring optimal procurement strategies for businesses. Seashore in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest product available to us.

Weather Impacting Crop Supplies – 3/14/24

Mother Nature’s grip on crop supplies continues to tighten as storm systems sweep across the western regions. With the latest system traversing Central California and veering eastward, Southern California and the Desert regions brace for strong winds. Sustained winds of 20-35mph, accompanied by gusts reaching 45mph, are forecasted across the southwestern desert region until Friday. These relentless winds pose a significant threat to crops, particularly delicate leafy greens like spinach and spring mix, which have already endured a barrage of adverse weather conditions.

The ongoing battle against nature’s fury extends beyond wind damage. Warmer temperatures in the desert regions are expected to exacerbate insect populations, with aphids, flies, and other pests wreaking havoc on upcoming fields. Growers are scrambling to combat these insects with insecticide sprays, but the resulting accumulation of deceased insects between leaves complicates harvesting efforts.

Moreover, the warmer climate contributes to heat-related defects, including internal burn, irregular shapes, and decreased shelf life. Mildews and diseases further plague current production, particularly iceberg and romaine lettuce, with premature pinking along the rib emerging during transit and storage.

Processing facilities also grapple with adverse weather effects, as extreme temperatures trigger physiological changes in plants, leading to increased mechanical damage and bruising during harvest and processing. Processed leafy greens are especially vulnerable, exhibiting discoloration and reduced shelf life due to weather fluctuations during growth.

Despite the challenges, planting activities in the Salinas Valley proceeded smoothly, albeit with slight delays in certain grower activities due to inclement weather. As temperatures rise, growth rates are expected to improve, with first leafy green harvests anticipated later this month. Quality remains a priority, with upcoming harvests showing promising signs in terms of quality and yield.

In conclusion, proactive crop management strategies are essential to navigate the turbulent weather conditions and maintain product quality and shelf life. Stay vigilant and adaptable in the face of these challenges to ensure a steady supply of fresh produce. Seashore in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest products available to us.

Limited Iceberg Lettuce and Romaine Supplies

The current landscape of iceberg lettuce and romaine supplies are being affected by a multitude of outstanding factors, challenging availability and pricing. Some of our post popular leafy products such as head lettuces, value added lettuces, salad mixes, etc. may be affected by this market’s turbulence.

Iceberg Lettuce Supply Constraints:

Iceberg lettuce supplies are becoming increasingly tight due to adverse weather conditions in Yuma, AZ, including freezing temperatures, rain, and hail. These weather events have caused quality issues such as hail damage on the outer leaves, resulting in lighter weights. As a result, very light supplies are expected for the next couple of weeks.

Anticipated Price Increases:

With limited supplies, prices for iceberg lettuce are expected to continue rising in the coming weeks. Suppliers are closely monitoring inventory levels and some may only be covering contract averages. Additionally, trucks may need to make extra pickups to fulfill orders, and suppliers may resort to using outside labels to cover contracts and market orders.

Limited Romaine and Romaine Heart Supplies:

Lower yields of Romaine and Romaine Hearts have also been reported due to erratic weather conditions in Yuma, AZ over the past month. Suppliers are working to spread out their supplies to prevent major gaps as we approach the end of the Yuma season.

Expectations Moving Forward:

– Suppliers will closely monitor inventory levels of Romaine and Romaine Hearts to prevent significant gaps in the market.

– Prices for both open market and contract orders are expected to escalate due to limited supplies.

– Trucks may need to make additional pickups to meet demand for Romaine and Romaine Hearts.

 

Seashore in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest products available to us.

Navigating Fruit Market Challenges

In the realm of citrus, challenges often bring unique insights and solutions. California Navel Oranges are facing distinctive hurdles; larger sizes (72ct and above) are peaking, while smaller sizes (88/113/138ct) remain remarkably scarce. This scarcity, influenced by low fruit sets and rain events, calls for flexibility in size and grade. Flexibility extends to ordering as well as lead time is now a critical factor. Despite the challenges, the current quality remains commendable.

A parallel challenge unfolds in the world of Florida juicing oranges. The season features the Valencia variety, predominantly in sizes 100ct and larger, with limited availability of 125ct. The season is expected to stretch through April, offering a more extended window for procurement.

Grapes, unfortunately, continue to pose challenges. A culmination of factors, from early finishes in Peru to delayed starts in Chile, results in a persistently tight supply. Vessel delays, both at the Panama Canal affecting the East Coast and high seas affecting the West Coast, compound the issues. A significant improvement is not anticipated until late February.

Weather, a perennial wildcard, is making its presence felt. Rain is forecasted for California and Baja Mexico from January 31 to February 2, with potentially adverse effects on strawberry production. The expected precipitation, exceeding 2.5 inches, may disrupt supplies during this period and into the weekend.

In these times of flux, staying informed is key. Order lead time becomes not just a logistical necessity but a strategic advantage. Seashore Fruit & Produce Co. in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest products available to us.

Yuma, AZ Rainy Setbacks

In the wake of unexpected rain showers earlier this week in the Yuma, AZ region, harvests are facing disruption as muddy conditions impede the work of harvesting crews. The aftermath of these showers poses a challenge, particularly as desert fields struggle to absorb the moisture quickly, often lingering for days. Many crews were hindered by the muddy fields, limiting their access to stands, and those who managed faced severe restrictions.

As the region received up to an inch of rain, the impact on harvesting is anticipated to be significant. The slower drying process of the desert soil will extend the recovery time, resulting in lighter supplies throughout the week. Growers are expected to gradually increase harvesting in the coming days, but the process will be notably sluggish.

While it’s premature to assess potential damage, the current conditions heighten concerns about quality issues in the field. The combination of rain and previous cold temperatures could amplify challenges, including increased mold, mildew, and bottom rot. Processed products may experience heightened oxidation/pinking, with potential effects on texture and shelf life in the upcoming supplies.

Seashore Fruit & Produce Co. in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest product available to us.