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US (CA): Extreme broccoli shortage leads to missed opportunity

“For the past eight weeks, we’ve been experiencing an extreme supply shortage in the broccoli market,” says Brent Scattini with Gold Coast Packing. This tremendously unusual situation not only affects broccoli, but also cauliflower, leafy greens and other vegetables. “I’ve been in this business for 26 years and I don’t remember so many products being in short supply for so long.” 

Early finish for Northern California and late start in desert
The extreme supply shortage is caused by the Santa Maria and Salinas Valleys finishing up production early due to unseasonably warm temperatures in September, October and even into November. At the same time, production in the desert regions of Yuma and Imperial Valley is delayed because of cool temperatures. “Every time we think the market improves and corrects itself, we realize there are still not enough supplies coming out of the field,” mentioned Scattini.

“I don’t expect anybody to have normal volumes until the first week of January, but I think we will start to see more volume entering the market next week. Unfortunately, we missed the Thanksgiving holiday this year and broccoli volumes for the Christmas holiday pull will be over early next week. We haven’t been able to satisfy demand for either holiday,” declares Scattini.

Act of God clauses in effect
Due to the severe situation, act of God clauses are in effect that allow suppliers to take their pricing up. “We have been enacting trigger pricing for a couple of weeks now and some companies have them in effect for as much as two months already,” shared Scattini. On December 16, loose crown cut broccoli reported $37 out of the Los Angeles Terminal market.

For more information:
Brent Scattini
Gold Coast Packing, Inc.
Tel: (+1) 805-928-2593

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