Tropical Storm Hilary – Strawberries 9/1/2023
As you are likely already aware, Hurricane Hilary caused widespread damage to crops in California two weeks ago. This storm damaged an estimated $1 billion worth of crops in California, with Strawberries, Tomatoes, and Citrus Fruits being hit the hardest. In addition to the damages of the high winds and rain fall, some areas are now experiencing flooding as a result of the storm furthering it’s implications.
The lingering high humidity and warm temperatures have resulted in even more crop destruction and quality concerns, particularly for strawberries. Salinas and Watsonville, CA growing regions experienced extremely high temperatures over the weekend, spiking to 100 degrees in some areas. Therefore, head related quality issues are being reported out of these areas. Soft fruit with some bruising and leakers are being reported across shippers, and reduced shelf life is also a concern.
We are expecting the market to improve in the next few weeks as the weather cools down. However, in the meantime, you may experience some quality issues or shortages.
Here are some tips for dealing with the current market conditions:
- Be flexible with your purchasing. If you can, be willing to accept fruit that is not perfect.
- Plan your menu accordingly. Consider using strawberries in dishes that are less sensitive to quality issues, such as smoothies or desserts.
- Work with your supplier to find the best possible quality fruit.
- Be prepared to pay higher prices.
- If you are a chef, be creative with your recipes and find ways to use strawberries even if they are not perfect. For example, you could make a strawberry coulis or sorbet, or use them to make a refreshing salad.
Seashore in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest product available to us. Thank you for your continued partnership!