US cantaloupe suppliers getting ready for offshore season

With much of the domestic melon season now mostly finished or about to wrap up, suppliers are switching over to the offshore season. A lot of the melon production bound for the US market occurs in parts of Mexico as well as Guatemala over the winter months. Offshore fruit is expected to arrive on the West Coast in two to three weeks, a little behind the first East Coast arrivals.

"Our Central American deal from Guatemala will start in early December on the West Coast under our 'Del Lago' brand," shared Darrin Wadman of Vision Produce Company. "The Guatemalan season should supply us through April next year."

Favorable start expected
Guatemala has experienced favorable growing conditions in the lead up to the season and suppliers expect a steady production season as a result. Wadman said that Vision Produce will have similar volume to what it has offered in recent years. "Weather conditions have been favorable in Southern Guatemala," he noted. "We produce a few different varieties of Harper Style melons and our planting schedule is the same size as it has been in the last 2 seasons."

Wadman added that due to the relatively adverse growing conditions that parts of California and Mexico have experienced, the market is in short supply. "Due to recent weather events in the western US and northern Mexico, supplies are currently much lighter," he said. "Demand exceeds supply right now and prices are reflecting the shortage."

Overall, there is an expectation that volume from Central America might be down from previous years. "The winter melon industry has experienced some consolidation recently," Wadman explained. "Rumor has it that the overall package count into the US will be slightly lower this season."

For more information:
Darrin Wadman
Vision Produce Company
Tel: +1 (213) 622-4435

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