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Florida remains hopeful that passion fruit crop will rebound

“Here in Florida, we pretty much got wiped out by Hurricane Irma. There’s really very little production left—people who have their passion fruit a bit better protected than others, have just scant amounts of fruit available,” says Alan Goldberg of A&B Tropical Produce in Miami, Fl. “But there’s really nothing in the marketplace right now and we’re still at least two to three months away from production.”

Florida passion fruit remains in a wait-and-see situation. That production, adds Goldberg, depends on how the vines react to the stress of the storms that passed through early fall. “Everything that grows down here is in a wait and see situation. All the trees suffered stress and some are more apt to handle it than others. But the production was close to 100 per cent wiped out,” he says. 

Importing implications
While other markets such as Mexico and some Asian countries grow and ship passion fruit, the product is generally prohibited to bring into the state of Florida. “We have several fruits like that,” says Goldberg. “They can ship into Florida but the fruit has to be treated first and it compromises the quality so you just don’t see much of it here.”

That said, passion fruit tends to be a lower-volume commodity in the region. “There’s not big volume like there used to be at one time. We’re all waiting to see what will happen,” says Goldberg. “Over the next couple of months if the vines are flowering, that’s a good sign. But then we have to see if the flower will hold on the vine itself. And then the fruit starts to pop out and then at that point, it’s basically seeing how the fruit grows and matures. It should rebound fine. We don’t get too many storms like this where the product gets wiped out and has to recover.”

For more information:
Alan Goldberg
A&B Tropical Produce
Tel: +1-305-805-1530

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