Rain slows Mexico blackberry production

Recent rain and cooler weather in the Mexico growing regions have slowed down the production of blackberries. The weather has also affected the supply of strawberries, which suppliers say is contributing to a slowdown of blackberry shipments in recent weeks.

Lower strawberry sales affect blackberries
"Our blackberries are grown in the Michoacán region in Mexico," said Ryan Struzyk, of Integrity Family Farms. "The season there started in the last week of October and continues right through March, depending on conditions. There has been a lot of rain in the region over the last few weeks which has slowed down blackberry production. The main issue is that it has affected strawberry production also. The quality of strawberries has dropped and production is also down. This has slowed blackberry shipments, due to customers often buying strawberries and blackberries together. Overall it has made the blackberry program harder recently."

Supply constraint keeps market steady
The market is steady, thanks to moderate demand and the supply issues. Suppliers note that prices are balanced, providing good value to customers while making sure growers enjoy a steady cash flow.

"Blackberries are hard to come by right now which has kept the market steady," said Struzyk. "Prices over the season have ranged anywhere from $8 - $16. This position is good for everybody, being at a price point where most customers can afford them, while ensuring growers and retailers are making money. Demand has been steady and overall movement has been good."

Less red cell this year
Struzyk has noted that blackberry quality is high this year with a reduced amount of defects, and he attributes this to better growing practices. 

"The incidence of red cell is negligible this year," he said. "This condition - which is where some of the blackberry's cells turn red - is generally considered a defect. We have seen a lot less of it this season. It's usually caused by poor handling, so it's an indication that growers are enacting better practices and ensuring fruit quality remains high."

For more information:
Ryan Struzyk
Integrity Family Farms
Tel: +1 (956) 802-2545

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