Apr 20, 2023
Tight West Coast lettuce supplies could be eased by East availability

Supplies of organic romaine hearts, iceberg, green lead and red leaf lettuce remain tight in California, with rising costs and subpar quality expected for romaine hearts and iceberg lettuce.

East Coast availability of romaine, green leaf and red leaf lettuce, however, remains steady, according to Organic Produce Network’s Week 16 report. Good volumes and excellent quality for romaine, green leaf and red leaf are expected as spring production transitions from Florida to Georgia.

Bright green lettuce flowers in a rocky field
East Coast availability of organic romaine, green leaf and red leaf lettuce is expected to ease tight California supply still recovering from cold, rainy weather. Photo: File

Organic mini and seedless watermelon harvests are delayed in Mexico as growers wait for the fruit to mature. Supplies are expected to be limited until early May.

On the East Coast, cooking and juicing organic greens are transitioning from Florida to Georgia, with abundant supply for kale and collards and growing volume for bok choy.

Supplies are increasing of Fair Trade organic Royal Star papayas from Mexico, with large fruit size and excellent quality. Organic pineapple supplies from Costa Rica have been steady and quality excellent, with fruit expected to remain in good supply throughout April.

Supplies of organic broccoli and cauliflower from California are shrinking during the transition from the Imperial Valley to the Salinas Valley, with rainy weather and cold temperatures contributing to low yields. The shortage will be eased in late April with North Carolina-grown broccoli.

Limited supply and strong demand are keeping organic blackberry prices high as the Mexican season winds down. Supply is tight and prices high for organic blueberries, with the California season delayed and production limited elsewhere.

Prices should ease and availability improve when production starts in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina by the end of the month.

Organic raspberries remain in short supply, with limited production from central Mexico and Baja, Mexico and continuing strong production. Organic strawberry supplies are still short with continued strong demand, with some California growers preparing to start their Santa Maria season.

Organic red, orange and yellow bell peppers are in transitions with Israeli supply ended for the season and Mexico supply winding down. Harvest is set to begin this week on new crops of Canadian organic peppers, with supply coming from the Netherlands in May. Organic green peppers remain limited out of Mexico with inconsistent volume throughout the month.

Organic Hass avocado pricing is firm overall with strong availability for 48-count fruit. Organic Ataulfo honey mangoes are promotable, with supply of Mexican organic round mangoes tight through April.

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