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Guatemala season starts next week

Holiday season amps up consumption of peas

South American snow and snap peas are transitioning from Peru to Guatemala, starting Monday. Sandy Gatanio of Ayco Farms said there were issues from Peruvian product all season. “Supplies are starting to increase out of Guatemala on snows and they don’t seem to have a lot of snaps, but the demand is not really very strong either.” 

There has been a lot of Peruvian product around and Guatemala was able to produce much longer this season. “Usually in August, September and early October Guatemala has no production but they just happened to have one of those years where the weather really cooperated for the growing and Peru was heavy,” he said. “And since Peru was heavy they’ve had a lot of quality issues. It was a perfect storm not to have any high prices.” 

There’s a wide range in prices right now: Guatemalan snow peas range from $9-$12, Peruvian snow peas $14 - $16. Peruvian and Guatemalan snaps are holding at $12 - $14. Gatanio predicts decent volume from Guatemala in December on snow peas; and they’ll have sugar snap peas in January. “I think the snap pea market will stay moderately strong (compared to) the snow pea market.” The holiday season tends to amp up consumption, and then should continue into football and Superbowl season. “The snaps are great in the dip platters. Snows are good for the foodservice trade (Asian) restaurants. The next 3 – 4 months we see good demand on all peas.”

Melons from Guatemala are coming in now and Ayco has increased production through a new green plantain program. “That’s been going very well,” he said. Product is coming into its Pompano, Florida location. “Starting the latter part of this week we have all our winter squash (from Guatemala) coming out – acorn, butternut and spaghetti.” The squash program has been running for a couple of years now. “Once the domestic product finishes there’ definitely a need for the Central American squashes and we feel that we’re going to come into a good window of opportunity.” 

For more information:
Sandy Gatanio
Ayco Farms
Ph: (954) 788-6800 x123