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COVID-19 triggers shifts in consumer food preferences
The coronavirus and government quarantines have triggered significant shifts in consumer shopping behavior, packaging preferences as well as purchase priorities. That’s the topline finding from a national consumer survey released by Category Partners. According to a national study of 2,000 consumers, survey participants say Read More ...
Lidl opens new regional distribution center to meet customer needs
Lidl formally opened its state-of-the-art regional headquarters and distribution center in Cecil County, MD. The new 700,000-square-foot facility will serve as the backbone of Lidl’s regional store network, quickly supplying products to stores in five states. Lidl invested more than $100 million in the project which will Read More ...
Consumers turn to apples in challenging times
Americans are stocking up on apples as they contend with the COVID-19 crisis, especially Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Granny Smith. Consumers are favoring packaged apples, which jumped up 34 percent in volume in the last four weeks ending March 21, and likely more than that since. As consumers hunker down, they are turning to Read More ...
Progressive Produce anticipates late spring and summer asparagus supply
As consumers continue to look for fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables to serve their families during these difficult times, Progressive Produce will begin shipping its strongest supply of the year of nutritious and versatile asparagus to shoppers across the United States and Canada. "As retailers discover what the new Read More ...
USDA files action over NJ company's $750K PACA violations
As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed an administrative complaint against Southern Sun LLC. The company, operating from New Jersey, allegedly failed to make payment Read More ...
The need for retailers to comfort shoppers
The upcoming April 13 issue of The Produce News will have its fair share of COVID-19 coverage. In his In the Trenches column, Ron Pelger raises one of the most important questions facing the produce industry: Is it safe to buy fresh produce? While the answer, straight from the FDA, is a resounding yes, it is a good bet Read More ...
Homegrown Organic Farms rebrands with new logo, new packaging
Homegrown Organic Farms has rebranded. The new look was designed with a minimalist artistic approach while keeping the company’s three key value propositions in mind: 100 percent organic fresh fruit focus, the diverse organic fresh fruit category offering year-round and finally being farmer- and family-owned with a Read More ...

Last week the major coastal strawberry-growing regions of California receive up to two inches of rain along with cold temperatures, leading to a reduction in the volume of strawberries coming from these regions. Max temps were in the 50s and min temps in the upper 30s and low 40s for the majority of the week. weat

Today another storm is coming through Southern California bringing another half-inch of rain to Oxnard and Santa Maria with an additional chance of more rain on Saturday. This storm will not be accompanied by such cold temps like last week. Look for fields to finally dry out next week.

FLORIDA STRAWBERRIES TO SEE WARMING TREND THIS WEEKEND               
Florida strawberry-growing regions around Plant City have been unseasonably cool this week with max temps in the low 60s and min temps in the mid-40s. This will change starting Friday as this region of Florida will finally see max temps rise into the 70s and min temps into the 50s. By Sunday look for high temps to break into the 80s and low temps to hover around 60, which is normal for time of year. Look for production of strawberries to finally pick up starting next week.  

MEXICO PRODUCTION STRONG DUE TO GOOD WEATHER
The principle berry-production regions of central Mexico have been experiencing perfect weather the last several weeks, leading to strong production numbers. So far this season, production numbers are up 40 percent over last year.

Look for the perfect weather conditions to continue with max temps in the low 80s and min temps in the upper 40s and low 50s depending on the location. There is no chance of rain in the 10-day forecast. Quality should be good.

SEVERAL MEXICO WINTER VEG REGIONS HIT BY A DELUGE OF RAIN LAST WEEK
Wednesday and Thursday of last week saw a very late season tropical storm bring heavy rains to the major western Mexico veg growing regions. Current production regions such as La Paz, Baja California Sur received serious amounts of rain that caused damage to crops and will lead to many days of quality issues on items from this area such as tomatoes.

Regions on mainland Mexico such as La Cruz and Culiacan, Sinaloa also received heavy rains that will definitely cause quality issues to items currently in production and most likely will push back the start date for the harvest of tomatoes.

The Weathermelon app offers consolidated lists of global growing regions for each commodity; a 10-day detail forecast for each region; current radar maps (U.S. only); estimated harvest start/end dates for each commodity; monthly average high/low temps for each region; and custom daily alerts for temperature, precipitation and severe weather based on 10-day forecasts.

(David Robidoux is a co-founder Weathermelon)

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Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse