Supplies of raspberries are strong out of Central Mexico and Baja California.
“We are at peak production from Central Mexico and our Baja California program is starting strong and will peak weeks one to five,” says Janice Honigberg of Sun Belle Inc. in Oxnard, Ca. “We have higher volumes than last year. Overall volumes from Mexico have been higher than previous years. However, volumes from many growers in Central Mexico will decrease going forward as they prune their plants.”
She notes that supplies in Mexico are coming from Jalisco with the Adelita and Enrosadira varieties and Baja California with the Erika variety which Sun Belle brought to Mexico approximately 10 years ago. Competition meanwhile comes from Jalisco and Michoacan.
Working on varieties
Sun Belle has been working on new varieties of raspberries. “We have several excellent varietal development programs which are yielding some fantastic results,” says Honigberg. “We should have commercial production of several selections early next season. We will soon also trial a golden raspberry with promise.”
Demand for raspberries meanwhile is strong throughout the U.S. and Canada. “We are also beginning to ship to Europe from Baja California as well,” adds Honigberg. “Consumption of raspberries is increasing as supply is more readily available.”
However the delicacy of the fruit remains the challenge. “They must be harvested at the perfect ripeness level and handled with great care,” says Honigberg.
As for pricing, for now, pricing has been lower than last year at this time. “But it should begin to pick up in January and may be close to last year’s price levels,” says Honigberg.