MARKET REPORT – JULY 7, 2017
Thanks for supporting us back then, eh!
When Annie and I started Discovery back in the last millennium we only sold local (BC) organic fruit and veg – for many years. You can imagine that in the spring months, we really had very little to sell, and if it wasn’t for many retailers (maybe even you) who would struggle to meet our shipping minimums with a very short price list, we wouldn’t be around. It wasn’t embarrassing because we were doing our best, but a price list in April might have only had 2 varieties of apples, a few potatoes and a straggle of other root crops, plus mushrooms and sprouts.
Right up until 2005 we waited impatiently for the first week of July, because that’s when we would see our sales surge with the first spinach and lettuce from local ground-croppers, and the first of the BC Cherries. Two weeks later, we would be well into apricots and blueberries and truly back in business after pretty thin pickin’s through those many spring months. (If you were in this biz 15 years ago, first, congratulations for your fortitude, and secondly, thanks for supporting us back then, eh!
So seeing BC cherries, and cots and blues listed this week brings a certain amount of nostalgia, and still a twinge of excitement, and you may feel that as well, as you sell through the last of the California this’s and that’s and put out your first set of Okanagan stone fruit. I’m sure you also have customers who get excited at the first of the local fruit crop.
While reminiscing, I remembered back to correspondence from a retailer who wanted to let us know, rather urgently, that there was something wrong with our apricots because they had a customer buy some and then phoned the store and tell them that they were violently ill. Well, you can imagine how we felt, and we spent hours researching apricot toxicity. We talked to the grower. We talked to the store owner, and got the phone number of the consumer, and talked to the person. And it was true – they had gotten really ill, but only after eating most of an entire 22# lug of apricots in within 24 hours of paying for them. Less than bright.
Moving along – we had a fast little hot spell in the Interior mid-week but daytime highs didn’t hit forecast, there was some healthy breezes, and no damage at all to early stonefruit. Whew! Temperatures have also been hot in the Fraser Valley, but, once again below the threshold for over-plumping the blueberry crop, which is now in full swing on early varieties. Day after day in the mid-20’s is also speeding up all veg crops locally, and the ground crop of cuke, zucchini, eggplant and tomato is coming on very quickly in the Similkameen with daytime temps in the mid-30’s
This weather is not abnormally out of range, but distinctly on the warm side for so early in the summer.
We have fresh-picked open pint raspberries for your pleasure, and Secrest strawberries, although very thin supply. Esteban Martinez is begging for more strawberry business. Normally a slow week for strawberry sales after the July 4 weekend, he has a huge flush coming on. We are priced accordingly. This is the most successful strawberry run we’ve ever had, with sales doubling last year’s numbers, 100% good arrivals to date (meaning perfect cold chain door to door) and very few quality problems shipping to you folks compared to industry normal. Take advantage of our low pricing and make some good change, or feel free, with our blessing, to run a special. These berries taste like strawberries!
Grapes are nearly all California with Mexico winding their season down weeks early. 54.8C in Hermosillo pretty well ended the last harvests. And it’s not just heat damage, it is just impossible to harvest – with both our grape suppliers in Mexico being certified Fair Trade they just aren’t the kind of employers to send crews out to harvest when it’s in the 40’s, much less mid-50’s. It was just as hot in Phoenix and record-breaking in Imperial and Yuma, and there has been substantial damage on cantaloupe and honeydew. With continuing good supply of melons now coming from Bakersfield and other areas farther north prices haven’t been impacted that much.
As mentioned, a quick transition going on in BC with some great early summer growing weather!