- CEO for Tissue Culture Lab - Indonesia
- Sales Engineer North America
- European market Sales Representative: Cut Flower crops
- Head Grower - Niagara-on-the-Lake (ON) Canada
- “Mayesh” Sales Representative - Los Angeles (CA) USA
- “Mayesh” Branch Buyer - Los Angeles (CA) USA
- “Mayesh” Branch Manager - Phoenix (AZ) USA
- Berry Grower - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- MIP Manager - Denver (Colorado) USA
- LED Cultivation Product Specialist
Top 5 -yesterday
- GLOBAL OVERVIEW BANANAS
- Why Morocco is ready to compete with fresh produce in the UK
- Sea freight rates from China to US west coast experienced sharp correction, with the highest price cut by nearly half
- “I think Roslesia will probably open people’s eyes to passionfruit”
- “Overall it’s a good year for Turkish pear growers”
Top 5 -last week
Top 5 -last month
- Mozambique and Eswatini pick up on bananas as South Africa's bananas make way for citrus, avocados, macadamias
- “My new avocado plants arrived in India in July of this year”
- South Africa terminates Valencia & lemon inspections for EU export
- China-US spot freight rates plunge
- California strawberries start transition to Oxnard
Jon Barfoot, Barfoots
"UK: "Pumpkin yields will be about 50% of planned crop"
"Quality issues are now setting in and rot's progressing. Retailers don’t take any fruits with minor blemishes or soft-spots as these progress into full-blown issues in the depot networks and in the ambient temperature of stores, where they metamorphose into pumpkin soup. Yields will be about 50% of the originally planned crop," explains Barfoot.
He goes on to say that until August the growing conditions were near perfect. "If only Halloween was 6 weeks earlier….they are ticking time-bombs."
Pumpkins are generally grown for Halloween and taste is irrelevant for a carving pumpkin. Even the Americans don’t eat these types – which have a bigger internal seed cavity and less flesh to make the actual carving of them easier. Instead they will use sweet eating squashes such as Butternut and Crown Prince for their revered culinary emblem, the American pumpkin pie.
"Carving varieties are bland and insipid tasting in comparison and they vary in size and skin finish; some have deep and thick ridges, some are as smooth as a football and can be any colour desired (black, white, purple, warty) and not just orange. It all depends on what size you are looking to produce and for what market. The biggest variety is the Atlantic Giant, but it’s so heavy (approx. 50-500kgs) that it loses its shape and collapses - so won’t do for carving. We use Harvest Moon and Racer for our southerly climate and soil type, producing a 3-8kg round-shaped pumpkin with a solid green stem handle,' according to Barfoot.
'Fitness fanatic' Beccs pictured here re harvesting. According to Barfoot she’s always in the thick of it and wanted to be involved with the pumpkin harvest to make sure her customer programs were well looked after, (her main customer is ASDA).
"On the supply-side, pumpkins are very labour intensive to grade and are expensive to transport. Last year’s crop was a complete disaster so the mood in the market for predatory pricing this year has been low said Barfoot. "On the selling-side, retailers strategically price pumpkins to drive footfall into the lucrative GM Halloween festive aisles (costumes, masks, paraphernalia, party food/drink etc), as without Pumpkins there isn’t really a Halloween event."
Compared with recent years there will be a lot of grading-out to create the appropriate quality level. Berfoots will be feeding thier bio-digester the ‘soup’!
The pumpkin season is pretty much over after Halloween as, "There are no prizes for holding any stock on the 32nd of October."
Barfoot explains that the most challenging aspects of pumpkin production in the UK are when the quality is poor, the extra costs of grading and waste are a serious concern for producers. The indirect costs of replacing lorry loads of rejected pumpkins are also a high cost to a supplier.
Being a time-limited seasonal event, there is very little ROI in investing in automation and bespoke storage for pumpkins as the cost would outweigh the benefit. "Agronomy and varietals is where I think the biggest advances can be made, ensuring that the pumpkins can stay rot-free (after they finish growing), until the final fortnight before Halloween…improving yields and reducing waste, minimising the indirect cost of managing quality service levels."
The UK market trend follows the USA, as Halloween has become the 2nd major festive event after Xmas. The US market is worth an estimated $180m USD at farmgate vs the British at around £6m. Given that there are 300m consumers in the USA and 65m in the UK, there is a long way to go to get to that level of consumer spend in the UK, which would indicate a pro-rata market opportunity of approximately £18m on pumpkins!
For more information:
Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here
Other news in this sector:
- 2021-10-15 Ocean Mist Farms announces new President and kicks off Cardone season
- 2021-10-15 Bringing broccoli to kids for National School Lunch Week
- 2021-10-15 Specialty mushroom company secures $25 million in Series A funding
- 2021-10-15 “Imported mushrooms could take over French mushrooms”
- 2021-10-15 "This week, prices look better on an erratic chicory market"
- 2021-10-15 Value of Texas pumpkin production surpassed that of all other states at $25.9 million in 2020
- 2021-10-15 Tomato cultivation declines across Europe due to high costs and ToBRV
- 2021-10-15 Italian cauliflower in full harvest
- 2021-10-14 UK leek growers launch annual promotional campaign
- 2021-10-14 India faced with tomato shortage
- 2021-10-14 A 15% increase in graffiti eggplants volumes in a single year
- 2021-10-14 Sugar Moon Mushrooms intends to break into gourmet mushroom industry
- 2021-10-13 Genome-edited tomato enters Japanese market
- 2021-10-13 "Spanish tomato growers smell opportunity in the winter months as gas prices explode in the Netherlands"
- 2021-10-13 "Sales of first Canary Island tomatoes going smoothly, but a good year is desperately needed too"
- 2021-10-13 Pakistan vegetable exports see record increase of almost 83%
- 2021-10-12 Surinamese hybrid cultivation concept sparks interest from international investors
- 2021-10-12 "Few tomatoes at present"
- 2021-10-12 $14.1 mln program to support Australia’s vegetable growers
- 2021-10-12 Jordan resumes exports of vegetables to Israel