Mar 7, 2023
Strawberries, blackberries in plentiful supply with good quality

It’s boom time for organic berries, with abundant harvest and good quality from Baja, Mexico and Florida leading to promotional opportunities for strawberries.

Organic Produce Network’s Week 9 report also found promotional opportunities for early March for organic blackberries, also in good supply with excellent quality.

Abundant harvest and good quality from Baja, Mexico and Florida leading to promotional opportunities for organic strawberries. Photo: File

Raspberry prices are easing despite a cold front that slowed production in Baja, while blueberry prices are expected to keep rising as Chilean production switches to Peru from Chile. Blueberry quality has been good and is expected to continue to improve, according to the OPN report.

A new variety of sweet potatoes is becoming available from California. Ben Yagi, with a purple skin and moist, magenta flesh, will only be available for a couple of months but will return in the fall. Supply and pricing for organic red and gold potatoes out of Manitoba, Canada are steady, while a gap in organic russet potatoes is expected in western portions of the U.S.

California’s Imperial Valley continues to produce steady supplies of organic broccoli, though production declines and price increases are expected as the desert season begins to wind down. Broccoli crowns will tighten before bunched broccoli, while organic cauliflower from the Imperial Valley remains in limited supply.

Organic Gala apple supplies are better than predicted, helping to bring down prices. Granny Smith and Honeycrisp supplies are tight and prices are rising. Organic Opal and SugarBee apples will finish up for the season the last week of March, while Cosmic Crisp apples will be promotable into spring.

Florida continues to produce strong volumes of organic romaine and leaf lettuce, with good quality and consistent availability driving promotional opportunities in early March. Quality romaine hearts from Florida are a new addition, while romaine hearts and iceberg from the Imperial Valley are approaching the end of their seasons. Decreased volume and increased prices are expected. Florida also continues to produce quality organic greens, with consistent availability across the category, including green kale and collards.

Organic Brussels sprouts remain in peak production with plentiful volume, strong quality and affordable prices from Mexico, while Mexican supplies of organic color bell peppers are decreasing. Israeli pepper supplies have remained consistent, but prices are at a premium because of air freight cost.

Organic mini mix sweet peppers from Florida have been strong in volume with promotable prices, while an increase in cost for green bell peppers from the state is expected this month.

Organic grapefruit and lemons, along with navel, mandarin and Cara Cara oranges, are in excellent supply from California and promotable throughout March.

— Organic Produce Network

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