Production of fennel out of California looks to be strong for the next three weeks.
“Supplies of fennel are consistent with the same time period a year ago,” says Rick Bravo, vice-president sales and marketing of Ocean Mist Farms based in Castroville, Ca. Bravo adds that supplies are currently coming from the company’s winter growing region, the Coachella Valley and that at the end of this month, Ocean Mist will transition to the Salinas Valley for supplies. Bravo adds that while weather issues such as cold and rain may impact supplies during the winter months in Coachella, the recent California rains have not impacted supplies at all.
Winter holiday demand
As for demand, peak demand times have passed for now for fennel, of which Ocean Mist carries both conventional and organic fennel in a variety of forms including full fern, trimmed conventional fennel, Chef’s cut with the fern slightly trimmed and full fern organic. The aromatic traditionally Italian vegetable is also known as Sweet Anise. “Historically demand for fresh fennel rises during the major winter eating holidays and we expect prices to rise at that time as well,” he says.
All of this leaves pricing currently at below last year’s levels for the current time period.