There is strong volume currently of organic cauliflower.
Cauliflower supplies are coming from Yuma, AZ and El Centro, CA right now.
“There are great supplies out of the desert California regions mainly due to generally cooler weather over Christmas slowing down succession plantings. At this point in time many fields are ready at once,” says Stefan Misse, president of Discovery Organics based in Vancouver, Canada. He adds that the volume available is similar to this time last year.
Supplies are currently coming from Yuma, AZ and El Centro, CA. “Competition is also mostly in that growing region—growers competing with each other to get the crop harvested and shipped before the sizing gets too large or quality suffers,” Misse says.
Growers also continue to have COVID-19 related concerns. “There are a lack of workers crossing in from Mexicali, Mexico, long delays at the US/MEX border to cross and added costly requirements for social distancing in the fields and pack sheds. Worker safety is paramount to have a crew that returns the next day with good health,” he says. “And for buyers, there are concerns about giving growers enough time to process orders as short lead times can mean short supply due to these COVID-19 factors.”
Like many growers and shippers, Discovery is contending with numerous labor issues--from a lack of labor to meeting COVID-19 protocols and more.
Ads to move volume
Meanwhile, on demand, Misse says it’s coming from all markets right now. “We have multiple ads running in Western Canada to help move the volume that is ready,” he says.
Also helping Discovery move product was the opening of a new warehouse on January 4th in Calgary, AB. The 2,000 sq. meter warehouse is a satellite version of the company’s Vancouver base location. The new Calgary operation carries the top 100 organic items as well as new banana ripening rooms. “This allows us to serve the Prairie market with a cross dock location that is over the Rockies,” says Misse.
“Invariably in the winter there are days when winter storms close the highways from British Columbia to Alberta for hours, if not days, at a time. When this happens, retailers expecting fresh shipments from Vancouver direct are usually stuck with empty shelves for a day as the trucking gets reorganized. This warehouse allows us to have fresh product available daily in Alberta for retailers there and in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.”
Discovery just opened a 2,000 sq. meter warehouse in Calgary, AB.
As for pricing, Misse notes there are some “price after sale” deals in order to help move volume right now. “FOBs right now are running $10-15 for 9/12/16ct size. A couple weeks ago we were looking at mid $30s FOBs,” he says.
That said, looking ahead, Misse expects consistent supply which will depend on consistent weather. “The general forecast is looking good for continued higher volumes and good quality,” he says.