Discovery Organics | Market Reports
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Market Reports


Hoping you have an enjoyable holiday season! 

First of all, best of the season to all of you hard-working people in the produce world – hopefully you can walk away from the stress now.  Did I order enough broccoli?  Will we run out of Brussels sprouts?  What will I do with those 2 cases of cranberries I didn’t need, or the extra Poultry Spice clams?  Well, it’s pretty well too late now for many of you, so just let it go if you can. (We’ve let go of the fact that we a few dozen extra packs of poultry blend ourselves.)



As discussed on Wednesday, dire issues in California with un-fightable fires continuing to grow in size.

We haven’t heard from any growers, including Churchill Orchards who did let us know they were evacuating, but what we do know is that entire community of Ojai is circled by fire and everyone is gone.



Current forecasts have weather across most of W. Canada as dry and unseasonably warm for some areas for 2 weeks in some long range predictions.  A huge blocking ridge is protecting all of Western North America, well down into Mexico from any Pacific storm systems.  (A relief after 29 days of rain on the Wet Coast.)



Always a fun month – planning holiday ads, trying to figure out receiving schedules based on what days of the week work around holidays, thrown in some snowstorms and avalanches here and there, and very volatile pricing on imported product.  Just makes August seem so easy!



First, Chilean Blueberries have started in earnest and we’re off the block with the larger 12 X 6.6 clams. 

We love the fact that one of this small group of growers we’re working closely with visited us in 2009 (his bro’ in law worked in Vancouver at the time), and we’ve been buying his berries every year since the spring of 2010.  It was with him that we coordinated our fund raising campaign after the devastating Chilean Earthquake of 2010, which hopefully a few of you will remember, raising nearly $40,000 – ½ of that coming from our customers.  (At that time, the money was used to pay for dozens and dozens of pre-fab wooden houses for their workers who had lost everything.)



Ya’ know…, you don’t get a bad book review if you don’t write a book. 

Old saying.  True.  Sometimes I write market reports, relying on really solid information from growers, blended with the wisdom that comes with 30 years of involvement in this industry,  and then a couple of days later I find that everything has changed, and what I said was just plain wrong.  This creates a conundrum.  I could fill a page with bland, nuanced lines highlighted with “could” “maybe” and “speculation has it”, but instead I choose to just throw it out there as it comes in.  And it usually sticks.



Much to talk about today.

First, of course, my favourite subject – weather!  There isn’t much in the way of weather issues in play at this moment.  A mini-cold wave did in all but the most resistant of local crops, but expect to still see local dandelion, kale and a few others until harvesting is just plain not fun.  Superb fall weather has blessed the coastal California growing areas like Salinas, Watsonville etc. where green veg and berry harvests have all but wrapped up, but perfect conditions are blessing winter fields in Oxnard.  (That’s the small production area right on the coast, just north of Los Angeles.)



A few things of note as we move past Thanksgiving and solidly into the autumn season.

The Mexican mango season has come to a close with the last shipment arriving this weekend. There will still be some Keitts from California over the next couple weeks but pricing will remain high with all other players out of the game for a bit. Ecuador grown Tommy Atkins are now being packed and shipped by sea and should arrive in the next couple weeks into the Los Angeles market.  The market on oranges has gone nuts with pretty much all California shippers finished up on their Valencia harvests. Navels are just around the corner with brix levels getting to the right point for harvest but without sustained cooler nights, the fruit has not coloured up yet enough for shipping. The Mexican Valencia crop is about 2 weeks away as well. The last of the outdoor BC eggplant and peppers will grace our doors this weekend as light frost has all but concluded those warmer weather vegetables. Origino is still expected to run strong on their greenhouse production for another 4 weeks give or take. We are back up and running with Rico Farms and Divine Flavor with a few Fair Trade items and we should see more as the season moves forward there. A new load of Pragor Coop Fair Trade certified avocado and grapefruit arrives to our doors Sunday afternoon and we have been able to secure some good volume and attractive pricing. Please ask your sales rep if you want to run a special in the coming weeks. We have nearly transitioned out of Watsonville strawberry fields now, finishing the last of a great run with Martinez strawberries that started back in late March. Bella Vita and Success Valley are berry farms in South California in Santa Maria and Oxnard respectively, where their autumn weather is very similar to the Watsonville area in the summer. Local greens are still going strong with only rainbow chard and black kale on the possible hit list for shortages. Secrest has a late season run of bunch carrots that have been planted under cover to stay protected from the frost but still take advantage of colder nights so they sweeten up. Secrest Produce for those that don’t know run a mixed fruit and vegetable organic farm up on the benchland above Oliver in the Okanagan. Terry Grewal has been farming there for years and is constantly trialing new things, whether that’s a new variety of grape or a new technique for extending the season. All his tomatoes are grown in hoop houses to protect from the elements and extend his growing season by a couple months. Our local potato growers, Fraserland Organics and Across The Creek, are both busy getting everything out of the ground before the frosts come. Once the harvest rush is over they’ll stash the potatoes in storage barns where their skins will continue to set. Then we’ll be into strong storage season crops and the ever famous German Butter potatoes from ATC will be at the table.


A few things…………..

Transition:  A few local growers, producing with protection in hoop houses and/or greenhouses will continue to provide cucumbers and even zucchini for several weeks – either until hard frosts kill off plants, or they burn-out and quit flowering.  Same deal with tomatoes, with local field beef and cherry crops expected to continue well into October, but volumes are going to be limited on all the above so expect to see a blend of California / Mexico and B.C. in the mix going forward.



A few changes you are probably noticing. 

We have some zucchini / cukes etc. starting to roll in from California.  As much as we would like to have local well into the fall, the reality is that colder nights everywhere, and light frosts in the Interior are impacting production.  As well, yes, that’s California lettuce, cilantro and a few other things on today’s list.  Do not Fear!  Our local season ain’t over, there’s just a bit of a gap on those things.  Colder nights and a few days of rain recently slowed production down just enough on greens to create up to a week-long gap from more than one grower.  But this is short-lived we think.  With record-breaking heat about to hit again for the next few days, we’re pretty sure things will catch up.