Weekly Market Rundown
So a quick update on the situation with overseas product + sea freight:
What we’re seeing:
We`re seeing North America as a whole run into supply issues with items coming from overseas that land at two main ports…San Francisco and Vancouver. How does this affect produce? Well with the bulk of North America’s Ginger and Garlic (whole and Peeled) coming out of China, and also key supplies growers/farmers are needing. We’re affected with port delays, customs release delays, backlog of transport after being released. We’re also seeing a result of increased cost amounts in freight and labour in the market.
Why is this happening?
This is happening simply because of COVID-19. As businesses as a whole open up (not just hospitality); sea, air and land freight have had sudden and increased demands. This has forced every level in the supply chain to try and keep up, but still maintain their own respective COVID protocols and procedures which, at times, can hamper the speed of movement at each level of the supply chain.
What produce items are affected by this at the moment?
– Garlic Peeled (Pack sizes will change at times to keep up with demand)
– Garlic Whole
– Mushrooms – Oyster, Shiitake, Honey Brown, White Beech, Enoki (growing supplies)
When can we expect ‘normalcy’?
We’re subject to some factors out of our control as there is a backlog at ports with the release of shipping containers and we expect a 2-3 week lag with everything catching up. This will mean likely escalated prices on the above products for the next 3-4 weeks as product IS coming to market but because of the much slower pace; it results in a much smaller pool of product to keep up with the demand.
Please also keep in mind that we do expect pricing to remain escalated as freight costs have increased dramatically both land, air and sea freight and we are seeing increases of up to 35%-40% compared to costs pre-COVID. Driver availability for land/ground freight has been the biggest challenge for Mexico and US items and this has increased costs as well and we continue to do our best to negotiate with the best freight companies to ensure the delicate and perishable nature of our product do get received to us not only in a timely fashion but that they take care in ensuring we can enjoy them!
Lettuces: We are seeing Romaine and Romaine Heart production beginning to trend slightly lower. We are seeing some quality issues in the fields which are resulting in slightly lower yields. The plants ARE healthy and have great colour and texture, however some additional light trimming of exposed leaves affected by the weather have been needed. Red and Green Leaf volume are both good with great quality. Iceberg supply is lower than normal with slightly lower yields and weights. Quality has been good as packers are ensuring clean product is provided. However we will expect prices to escalate slightly as there will be expectations of an increased pull from school business.
Peppers: Quality overall is good but we are seeing a lighter supply availability with Yellow and Green Peppers. Red Bell: Supply is stable and quality is better this week. Colour does continue to be an issue due to heat as mentioned before.
Strawberries: We are continuing to downtrend slowly overall in supply but we are seeing quality improve with good sized fruit out of Watsonville and Salinas. Weather still continues to be a challenge which has affected supply due to bruising.
Blueberries: British Columbia have hit their peak and we’ll continue to see high volumes for the next three weeks as well as Oregon for the next few weeks also.
Raspberries: We are at the low point of summer/fall transition and will likely continue with lower volume through next week. Volume will be picking up in September but historically we have seen product be vulnerable to heat damage. Good new though, Santa Maria and Oxnard are reporting good over all appearance and flavour; but humidity can cause softer fruit.
Navel Oranges: Late navels are still available. Good quality seen arriving from Chile and South Africa.
Limes: We are seeing an escalated market as supply has tightened up with issues stemming from weather related quality such as heavy rainfall resulting in severe Stylar breakdown in the fruit. Stylar breakdown is pre-mature rot at the stem. This is causing a large loss in the packout prior to shipping. We’ll be seeing escalated pricing on this item as demands maintain.
Tomatoes: Rounds production has increased and we are seeing better volume with some lower precipitation amounts in the growing regions. We’re seeing an improvement in shelf life and quality and size. Romas: are also seeing much improved production numbers and quality as well! Grape & Cherry: We are seeing escalated markets as more demand for ‘snacking’ tomatoes and uses for salads has increased.
Green Beans: We continue to see light numbers in the east due to rain however overall quality is fair. With demand still high, we are expecting some escalated pricing.
LOCAL…We’ve got some new selections below and we can’t wait for the season to build with more!
Romano Beans…Borlotti, Cranberry, whatever you want to call them…ENJOY the easy shuck and the quick cook!
Blueberries…First of the Ontario Wild Blueberries!
PINK Chinese Celery…from our friends at White Lily! Peep the Instagram post to check these out!
Sweet Corn…First pick of the season! YUMMERS!
Sicilian Eggplant…MMM Meaty Eggplant!
Peaches…Ontario Peaches are always a highlight for our Toronto summers!
Heirloom Medley Tomatoes…Bosco Farms ALWAYS come in hot with these and we love them for it!
Yellow Plums…Nice and tart!
Baby Artichokes…FINALLY BACK!
Heirloom Bunched Carrots – All the colours…IN ONE BUNCH!
Bunched Radishes – Red, Cincinnati, Icicle…There’s Garlic, and then there’s Black Garlic…from Ontario no doubt
Onion Red – New Bulb…Fresher, Crisper, Flavourful!
Heirloom Lettuce – Mixed…IT’S BACK! From White Lily Farms! Enjoy some Red Oak, Green Oak, Red Gem, Green Gem and the notorious Ice Queen Lettuce (Wavy Iceberg)
Zucchini Flowers…Now available in a new packsize! And JUST the Flower from our friends at Top Tomato!
Hearts of Palm…Delicious and crunchy with a delicate flavour!
Finger Lime…The caviar of of the fruit world!
Cucumber Melon…Shaped like a watermelon…looks like a watermelon…tastes like a cucumber…but THE SIZE OF YOUR THUMB!
FUN GRAPE ALERT...Tomcord, Candy Sweets, Jelly Drops
And of course…don’t ever hesitate to reach out! Contact your Account Manager, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and yes ALWAYS slide into the DMs.