Part of the problem is, not surprisingly, weather. “It’s been erratic since January,” says Tsoukalas. “One grower told me if you have rain issues in, say, Florida, then you’ll have rain issues all the way up the season because it’s a nomadic crop following weather patterns.” Rain impacts how the fruit grows—follow that rain with heat and it won’t size well. “You’ll get a burst in size and instead of getting the sizes you’re expecting, you’re getting a lot larger fruit and there’ll be issues,” says Tsoukalas. “The fruit has suddenly blown up a lot faster so you’ve got to keep an eye on it.”
That includes eyeballing quality. “Sometimes people start compromising their opinion on quality,” says Tsoukalas. “For example, to fill an order, a grower may cut when the product isn’t ripe to meet size expectations. And then when the customer cuts into the melon, there’ll be more rind and less flavor.” On its end, Savco has been working to sell those larger sizes instead. “And there are a lot of growers who try to follow that methodology as well and those are the ones we try and work with since we want to bring flavour to our market,” he adds.
Pushing on price
That said, Tsoukalas notes that Ontario growers will begin supply in a few weeks. “Typically they’d have their first bits of supply starting on the 24th, but they’re delayed from about a week to 10 days,” Tsoukalas says.
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Savco Worldwide, Inc.