December 28, 2017

  Market Notes
December 28, 2017


Extreme describes 2017 perfectly. Here are some appropriate examples.

10) LABOR – Remains a top concern for produce growers and this year the fear has gotten worse. What ICE says and what ICE does are often two different things. Between the fears of being caught in public combined with the improved economy in Mexico, the labor pool for produce is dwindling. Of course we are still abiding by the invisible law that says only immigrants are allowed to harvest produce. But growers are building sanctuary communities for their loyal and hardworking employees.

9) COLOR– The purple hype is back. While it is documented that fruits and vegetables with darker colors are healthier (more antioxidants) all fruits and vegetables have healthful assets except maybe for iceberg lettuce, created and grown for shelf stability. Best to focus on where your produce comes from and how it is grown.

8) SUN- Obviously needed for life but this was a great example of an extreme year. Our greens program in the Salinas Valley was destroyed this year by a relentless sun. Triple digit temps in the evening and limited rain created suffocation for many of our baby greens. This destroyed fields of mature greens as well. Yuma was a godsend this year.

7) TRANSPORTATION – Bad and going to get worse. Handwritten truck logs will be a thing of the past come April along with electronic and digital control. Extreme use of GPS. Trucks will be globally tracked and when they exceed their hours they will be automatically slowed to the next rest stop. Going to have a huge impact on local deliveries. Actually it already has. Bad for traffic too.

6) FOOD SHOWS- Politicians get news shows and produce publications get food shows. Now each region has to have its own food show as well. Either they have all gone to Trump University or this was/is an untapped market. Organic food shows have waiting lists. From what we read every show has record attendance over the previous year. As our industry continues to grow, so grow the shows.

5) QUARTER CENTURY OF CULINARY – Who knew? From storage room in an apple orchard on Hardscrabble Road in upstate New York to a modern brokerage facility on the northeast produce corridor Culinary Specialty Produce has maintained sales, service, showmanship, and new product introduction of specialty produce to the industry. It has been a roller coaster ride, an education and a family. Our core employees have been with the company for over two decades. That’s extreme!


3) FIRE – Record setting extreme! With the single largest fire in California’s history just contained, this year saw fires in all areas of the State. The effect on the industry is yet to be determined, but early reports indicate extreme luck. For the acreage lost the lives saved are astounding.

2) FLOODS – Record setting extreme. While the west drank it up, Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico were pommeled with record setting rains. This appears to be a continuation of extreme weather all over the planet. You can believe in global warming or not, but there is no doubt that the weather is getting more extreme.

1) RAIN- Record setting extreme. Usually we can just use one number and call it weather. This year it took four categories, three in the top position. After four years of drought California basically caught up in one season. Total inches exceeded anything ever recorded in Santa Cruz County and many other areas. Rain destroyed much of the Central California potato crop. Rain completely destroyed the tomato crop in Florida. Many sheds, packing houses and equipment facilities ruined forcing many farmers into sudden unexpected retirement. As we write this the northeast is covered in record setting cold and snow. Let’s see what drilling in Alaska does to calm down what appears to be a slightly pissed off planet.


From us and ours to you and yours wishing you a safe, happy and healthy New Year

Produce Quiz On Vacation Will Return January 4, 2018

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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