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Quebec cabbage season getting underwayQuebec cabbage is coming out with a strong start to the season.
“The first crop of cabbage has been out for over a week. All of the cabbage had a lack of water so the volume is about the same as last year,” says Pierre Gallant of EagleXport based in St. Remi, Que. “It’s challenging. Sometimes it’s too much sun, other times it’s too much water. But we should get back up to normal levels soon.”
Right now, cabbage in the region is coming from the Northern part of the province around the cities of Saint Eustache and Oka. This will be shortly followed by southern Quebec growers who are closer to the border.
Longevity in the product
Gallant, who exports cabbage to the U.S. in box cartons for retail and chopped and bagged for foodservice, notes that Quebec cabbage can maintain itself in storage for almost 11 months of the year. Quebec product also competes with cabbage coming from East Coast regions such as New Jersey, Georgia and Texas.
Currently, demand is strong on the larger, older white cabbage heads which are preferred for popular dishes such as coleslaw. “The cabbage that comes out these days is summer cabbage and it’s more on the green side,” he says. “So right now the demand is strong on the white cabbage.”
All of this means bagged cabbage is sitting at a relatively high price. “Normally you can sell them for $10 US and right now it’s $15-$16 US. So it’s strong but not crazy pricing,” says Gallant. “Last year at this time it was even higher. It got up to $22 US/bag.”
Looking ahead, he predicts continued demand for cabbage but with more crops becoming available, the pricing is likely to settle in between $8-$14 US.
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