Supplies of greenhouse tomatoes look good given the multiple regions currently producing them.
“There’s production in all areas right now. Volume is good in tomatoes out of Canada and our California operations. Canadian volume is up. California is mid-stream. And Mexico is finishing,” says Jeff Madu of Windset Farms in Delta, BC.
He notes that tomato volumes are similar to the levels last year at this time. “The month of May is always a challenge for tomatoes because you have Canada coming into production and Mexico finishing so there’s still some collision,” says Madu.
Popularity in snacking
Also in production is Windset’s medley of snacking cherry tomatoes right now. “There are different varieties there so brown, striped, green, yellow and orange,” says Madu. “The flavor profile on them is so much better than it was a few years ago. They all eat so well now.”
And consumers are responding given that demand for snacking tomatoes continues to pick up. “I think demand is increasing. The whole snacking category is probably one of the most exciting categories we work with,” says Madu.
Pricing though is steady, albeit a bit sluggish, on grape, beef and tomato on the vines (TOVs). “It’s not historically lower or higher than in the past during this time frame. It’s normal and what we expect in May,” says Madu, who adds though that with the United States imposing a 17.5 percent tariff on Mexican tomato imports, pricing remains questionable. “What’s going to happen with tomato pricing over the next four weeks will be interesting,” he adds.
Tomatoes and other commodities including peppers and cucumbers are some of the things Windset will have on display at this year’s United Fresh show June 10-12 in Chicago, Ill. As one of the show’s newer exhibitors, Madu finds that the show stands out for its educational component.
“There are also a lot of other things they do behind the scenes such as mentoring young people in the produce industry and also lobbying for the industry,” he says. “We find there’s a lot of benefit in supporting United for what it does for education year-round.”