Roma tomato production out of Baja California is about to start up and harvest is expected to continue through mid-January. “We have two harvesting seasons out of Baja,” says Felipe Garcia with Master’s Touch. “In addition to the fall season, we will also be harvesting from April until June.”
Unusual rainy weather
“It is hard to comment on forecast supplies,” mentioned Garcia, “as it has been raining a lot recently in the Baja California region.” It is very unusual for this region to get rain, but in the past week two inches came down. Master’s Touch is in the process of assessing the damage. “El Niño type weather is having a real impact on weather circumstances,” declared Garcia.
Demand for Roma tomatoes is strong at the moment. “This is a good window for supplies as the homegrown crop in North America is finishing up and availability is a bit more limited. I’ve heard prices of $18.95 for a 25 lb. carton, but I am seeing prices that are more in the $14 - $15 range.” Once supplies become more plentiful, prices will come down.
Master’s Touch sells its Roma tomatoes under the Master’s Touch brand and distributes them to retailers, wholesalers and brokers in the US and Canada. About 80 percent is grown in the conventional way and 20 percent of Romas is grown organically. All the company’s produce is Fairtrade certified. In its tomato growing regions in Baja California, the company’s social responsibility program includes operating a medical center with 24-hour doctor’s access as well as the availability of schools for the employees’ children.
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