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Climate Change Affecting Global Apple Supply
This whole apple deal is getting worse and worse. There is a huge gala shortage across all southern growing regions, because of record-breaking temperatures, which forced fruit to ripen before it was sized up, and some producers had up to 18% of the apples cracking because of this. Our regular NZ growers have all decided to ship most of their fruit as conventional. With such a high prevalence of apple moth, and the risk of having organic fruit rejected, and no longer exportable, they are choosing to spray it, which guarantees permission to export, and still get high prices because of the global shortage. One lot of Granny’s that were on their way have just been rejected by the USDA, as well as another lot of Cripps Pink from Argentina, which also had material defects. The only saving grace is loads of fruit are being diverted from Europe to the U.S., with lower transit times, as shippers hope to have better arrivals. At least we’re only 6 weeks from the first California apples, and 8 for local summer apples.
I know I rant about climate change, and the agricultural industry being the canary in the coal mine, but these continuing impacts on crops are not coincidental. Today a report came out that showed that this spring, the continental U.S. broke the record for the warmest spring, and not by a fraction of a degree, but by a full degree, which is absolutely unprecedented.
OK, here’s some good news – great berry growing weather and a bumper crop of blues, in California, and expected for Washington in a couple of weeks, and B.C. in three.
The record-breaking rainstorms in the Interior for the last few days, and winter like driving conditions on mountain passes have not reflected in damage for any of our stone fruit or apple crops. Stone fruit sales on the American fruit we are currently shipping are spectacular, and continuing to show year over year increases, which should extend to our local season – especially with the current apple shortage. Rocking deal on volume fill fancy 70’s!
Our Fair Trade avocado program is humming along. With another container due in earlier than expected, we’re hoping to ramp sales up with some promotional pricing.
On the veg side, despite the weather impacting growth on B.C. farms, there is still a nice progression of fresh greens in all our regional growing areas. Some imported commodities are still tight (celery and cauli) but we expect to see some downward pressure over the next couple of weeks. Local hothouse crops are doing well, although there are peaks and valleys on bell peppers. Globe artichokes are cheap and plentiful. The Salinas and Moss Landing artichoke belt is peaking.