Rains could cause California kale gaps come May

Supplies of conventional kale in the marketplace are tight. “The plants have been affected by the cold weather and are not growing as quickly as they should be. We are looking to other growing regions that are not so heavily hit by major weather changes to source from,” says Megan Ichimoto of San Miguel Produce Inc.

San Miguel Produce’s focus is on its fresh-cut processing facility where it processes a variety of dark leafy greens and cut vegetables, with kale being its number one item. Under its Cut ‘N Clean Greens brand, it processes both organic and conventional kale year-round including red, green and Tuscan varieties.

Sourcing regions
Currently, kale supplies are largely sourced from Ventura County, Yuma and Mexico as well as regionally throughout the U.S.

As for demand, Ichimoto says that kale remains a consumer staple due to its nutrient density and culinary versatility--the hearty leafy green can be found in soups and stews but can also be roasted into chips or act as a salad base.

Looking ahead, supplies could be delayed though. “Many growers will move back to the Salinas Valley in the next month. While current plantings appear to be fine, the recent rains in the Salinas Valley will likely delay new plantings over the next month,” says Ichimoto. “We are being told we could see gaps in the availability of product from May to June out of that region.”

For more information:
Megan Ichimoto
San Miguel Produce Inc.
Tel: +1 (805) 488-0981

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