“We’re coming off of a few weeks of good steady supply from Mexico. We’re also starting to get some volume out of California,” says Robb Bertels of Oxnard, Ca.-based Mission Produce, Inc. “Over the past few weeks we haven’t seen a huge amount of fruit from California, but at this point it’s starting to ramp up and we expect a strong season.”
Bertels notes that December’s wildfires have had little effect on overall California supply of avocados. “The California Avocado Commission put out a revised crop estimate recently that was close to 370 million lbs. Last year was about 200 million lbs. and so that’s up significantly, even after the analysis of fruit lost with the fire and the wind events,” says Bertels. “It should be a good season for California.”
Volume more consistent
Volume is slightly up from 2017’s numbers at this time—which helps in firming up of avocado supplies. “We’re coming off of a period in the fall when supplies were a little inconsistent,” says Bertels. “We’ve gotten more consistent here in the latter part of December, early January. Overall the industry here in the U.S. will probably move close to 200 million lbs. due to the Super Bowl. That’s pretty consistent with where it’s been before.”
That’s also led to relatively even pricing. “When pricing gets too high it really slows demand at the consumer level. We had a couple of periods like that in the last year or two, so we are looking forward to more consistent supply, pricing and demand,” he says.
Meanwhile Mission is gearing up to exhibit once again at the Southern Exposure 2018 show March 1-3. “It’s a good retail participation show,” says Bertels, adding that Mission will have some new products and packaging on display at the show. “They do a good job of drawing a lot of East coast and Midwest retailers to the event. So we see a lot of our good customers at that show.” Visit Mission Produce at booth 321 at Southern Exposure.
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