Randy Hooper - May 18, 2013
Here’s the news that’s fit to print. Don’t know if you follow the immigration policies in the U.S., but it is creating havoc in the strawberry patch. Talking to producers this morning, some packers are offering rewards, signing bonuses and pay hikes to anyone who walks in the door! Even though weather has taken its toll this year on strawberry production, the growing labour shortage, and unwillingness on the part of the US government to ease regulations on temporary workers is going to have a much bigger impact as fruit rots in the field! Apple supply is strong, with a deluge of bumper crop from all three southern producing nations expected to keep us in strong supply through the summer once we’ve exhausted Washington’s cache. Check out this week’s avocado pricing – our pricing will stay stable at these levels for at least 3 months, and our Fairtrade producers are still receiving $1.50 a kg. above the listed Fairtrade price! The first of the NZ Kiwi have almost arrived. Expect kiwi prices to be substantially higher this year. The PSA virus has destroyed most of the gold kiwi plantations in NZ, forcing higher demand on the green crop. Producers have been fighting PSA for several years and there isn’t a viable chemical cure for conventional growers. Blueberry sales are brisk – the new California crop is stunning. The “Tangerine Man” a.k.a. Churchill Orchards is pleased as punch at how well their Pixies are selling up here in Canada – this is their main crop, and most go to Japan! Pear and stonefruit categories are fully plump with a broad selection. Larger sized peaches are now shipping. Asparagus market continues tight with high demand in the East – many producers in Ontario and New England states had freak frosts which knocked everything back 10 days from their usual start.