MARKET REPORT – DEC. 30TH, 2016
Three things today:
1/ Happy New Year. As always we know 2 things are going to happen for 2017. It will be better. It always has to be better. It’s going to be better. In whatever way that it is NOT currently better. AND, sales will kick up substantially next week as all those New Year’s Resolutions to clean things up internally kick in. AND maybe this year it won’t just be all about Kale!
2/ Weather. There is a massive dome of cold air over Canada and 70% of the U.S., and its forecast to just keep on getting bigger, deeper and colder. Below freezing temps in the northern California districts and ‘just’ above freezing in the desert the last couple of nights. This cold air mass is forecast to slump farther south over the next 7 days and long range forecasts have temps dropping once again to near freezing in the desert growing regions. Even if it doesn’t freeze, with high temps well under 20C during the day in the desert, (high of 12C in Salinas,) growth is very slow. Lettuce has already been severely impacted from cold and rain and we expect pricing to tighten up pretty fast. Several of our vendors in that area are listing lettuce as OUT today and going forward – and a couple of “buyer beware” on romaine listings. So just saying – we could be in for a rocky ride on some products looking forward. We are SO lucky to have great relationships with farms in Guanajuato – with no supply issues expected on our wide variety of product from Agrofresco and Santa Amilia.
3/ Mangos. Our first container of the year from Peru has just arrived, like this afternoon. This is our 8th year buying from the 150 or so members of the Apromalpi Coop in Chulucanas. We have never been disappointed. Always a quality product, and so nice to get great fruit that hasn’t been sent through the hell of thermal treating. We are currently the only buyer of Apromalpi fruit that is being bought as Fair Trade, but never-the-less they have come a long way. With some initial investment money, partially seeded by Discovery, they were able to put in their own packing line back in 2011, so they had much more control of how their mangos packed out and had far more ownership of the supply chain, and with some of the social premiums collected, they were able to get matching funds from NGO’s and install a large drying machine a couple of years ago– which means any unsold or cosmetically challenged fruit still earns them top dollar.
I could kick myself, though. The last time I sat down with Cleida, the manager of the co-op, I may have had one too many Pisco Sour’s and said something like, “I love you” or “Remember, Cleida, Canadians like BIG mangos.” And Cleida obviously remembered, because over 50% of the load is 7 count. So you all be thinking BIG when you are ordering, and we will price the size range accordingly.
We’re also sending out Julie’s project report from her last visit to Peru in October. It always feels good to see so much progress being made, not only for growers, but the impoverished communities surrounding them. As you will read, fully 80% of the Fair Trade social premiums they received last year were from you and your customers, and they have done some miraculous things. We always have to remember that a dollar in Peru goes 5 times further than it does here, for pretty well everything but fuel, so while the $24,000 Canadian dollars we returned in Social Premiums to them last season may not seem like a huge amount, in that area it goes as far as $125,000 would here. And that’s great!
Have a great 2017!