The Mexican blackberry season is getting smoother each week as the rainy season subsides and favorable weather establishes itself in the berry growing region. Wish Farms, a Florida-based company that grows a variety of berries in Mexico this time of year, said supplies are very good and quality has also improved since the drier weather has been present in the area.
"Right now all production is coming from Mexico with Michoacán the main producing state," said Amber Maloney of Wish Farms. "The Mexico season will continue until we transition back to US supply in the Southeast as well as Santa Maria next May. Now that the rainy season has finished, quality is improving and we can see that through the arrivals at the border. Supplies have been ample so far this season and we have not been short of blackberries since the start of the season."
Market is weaker than expected
Things were looking positive US importers at the start of the blackberry season in Mexico this year, with strong US demand in the lead up. However, the market is flatter than expected with some growers suggesting the quality issues from rain early in the season may have contributed to the lack of subsequent demand. Volume though is on the up, and there are predictions that the market will improve in step with the recently improved quality.
"Prices have been lower than in past years for the same week," Maloney observed. "This is perhaps due to early quality issues that Mexican blackberries were suffering from the rain. Market demand in general has been lower than expected. Volumes for the past few weeks have been higher than past seasons and we expect that demand will pick up again and prices will return to more normal levels."
Importance of year round supply
In the last few years Wish Farms said it has worked to increase their berry availability, with the company now able to supply all four main berry varieties year-round. According to Maloney, this was important as it instils confidence in retailers who rely on year-round berry supply to satisfy consumer demands. The next step for Wish Farms is to also supply organic berries of each type year-round.
"Wish Farms is always looking for innovative varieties so we can provide retailers all the fruit they need throughout the year," Maloney shared. "We are always ready to work with retailers to tailor a promotion that will best suit them. Wish Farms offers conventional and organic blackberries and as always, we are willing to work harder than anybody in order to provide the best to our clients. In 2016 we started the cane berry program which resulted in Wish Farms becoming a year-round supplier of all four berries to service our customers. We have a strong organic blackberry deal this Mexican season and we have set our goal to supply organic and conventional for all berry varieties 365 days a year."