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Yields moderately down for Mexican tomato growers

Yields have been down for Mexican growers that supply to the USA this past year – lowered to about a 40% - 50% yield. Weather is essentially to blame. 

Blue Creek Produce, who is supplied by growers in Mexico’s Jalisco region, handles mainly cherry tomatoes but also other varieties including grape, off the vine and teardrop. “Weather is always an impact but this year it seemed a little more struggle of adapting to the environment that God brings us; a little rainier than typical and cool,” said Roger Riehm, owner and president. “A lot of environmental factors (impacted) production.” Quality hasn’t suffered; they’ve just had to work harder during harvest to ensure proper sorting off the plants provides good produce for their foodservice industry customer base. “We’ve had to adjust what would normally be our typical volume on orders,” he said.

Tomatoes are grown year round but currently prices are somewhat lower due to more availability in states such as Florida, which is coming on. “Business is a little slower at this time of year right now up the east coast in general. I can’t complain for the most part.”

Consumption remains high even at this time of year and Riehm says for the foodservice industry, he believes a bit of a spike. “People are eating out more because they’re out shopping. They’re running around with different activities and holidays so at that end of the business we do keep our consistent business.”

Harvesting continues every week, year-round and conditions tend to get better as Mexico heads out of its wet season. “It continues to improve and production increases. When we get into January, February and March things get back to normal and to increase with production and less issues,” he said. At this time of year they also expand the business into greenhouse peppers and the more specialty tomatoes (yellow and red teardrop and yellow cherry) will be sent to customers including high-end restaurants or cruise lines that operate out of Miami. 

For more information:
Roger Riehm, Owner/President
Blue Creek Produce
Ph: (630) 513-3075