Eco Farms doubles ripening capacity

avoResponding to retail and consumer demand, Eco Farms Avocado Inc. in Temecula, CA, has significantly increased its ripening capacity at its Southern California packing facility in Riverside County.

“We have doubled our capacity,” said Sales and Marketing Director Gahl Crane, who added that the handler has also increased the number of growers it is doing business with. “We have added new growers throughout California. Our field staff has done an excellent job expanding our grower base.”

He noted that the increased grower base, as well as the much bigger 2020 California crop, will give Eco Farms a substantial increase in volume this year in both conventional and organic fruit. Crane added that the firm will also have more organic and conventional fruit from Peru as well. California is already in production and Eco Farms will have California fruit into September. He expects Eco to handle Peru fruit from mid-April to early September.

“Organics are a big part of our program,” he said. “Demand continues to grow.”

While there will be more organic avocados from California this year, Crane said most of the increase should be attributed to the larger crop rather than an increase in acreage. He said there is some acreage being transitioned in all three major production countries — California, Mexico and Peru — but he has not seen a huge shift in that direction. Demand for organic avocados, in fact, is outpacing supply.

In the mid-March time frame, the conventional market was very strong with 48 size fruit returning an f.o.b. price in the low to mid-$50s range. At the same time, a carton of organic fruit in that same size was selling for about $10 more per carton. The same $10 gap existed between organic and conventional fruit on the smaller end of the size curve.

Crane said that possibly because of the high price of organic fruit, bagged fruit is even more popular, relatively speaking, in the organic section of the supermarket. Bagged avocados are a trend that continues throughout the avocado sector, but he said some stores sell a lot more bagged organic avocados than individual fruit. That is usually not the case for conventional fruit.

Keeping with its commitment toward increasing the sustainability of its operation, Eco Farms is mindful of its carbon footprint and continually looks for ways to reduce the amount of packaging it uses. Crane said the firm is heartened by the increased use of returnable plastic containers by retailers and advocates for more industrial recycling of packaging.

He noted that Eco Farms only uses packaging that is 100 percent recyclable but that in the United States not all packaging that can be is recycled. “There seems to be much more industrial recycling in Europe.”

IFG committed to dynamic performance in grape category
The recent launch of new grape varietal logos by International Fruit Genetics has helped the Bakersfield, CA-based breeder improve clarity in a category where differing names for the same fruit often persist. “It’s a prescriptive approach,” explained Andy Higgins, CEO of IFG. “Let’s clean it up to help all involved understand what Read More ...
Food Lion aims to make grocery shopping easier
Food Lion is adding additional “Food Lion To-Go” grocery pick up services at 31 new stores in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina beginning Sept. 28. “Expanding this convenient service to additional Food Lion stores is more important than ever,” said Evan Harding, director of digital and e-commerce Read More ...
Strong organic apple and pear growth
Organic apples and pears had the strongest monthly growth Superfresh Growers has recently seen. Both categories were up nearly 30 percent in the month of August. Organic apples were up 30 percent in dollars, while organic pears were up 29 percent in volume. Since COVID-19, organic dollars have been climbing, and this is Read More ...
Ocean Mist Farms debuts new Season & Steam products
Ocean Mist Farms, a leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in North America, launched five new products in its award-winning Season & Steam convenience vegetable line. All five new items are among the top 10 value-added vegetables to post growth in the past year, according to a July 2020 Nielsen Answers on Demand Read More ...
FDA applauds new public-private relationships
Despite its devastating impact on the world, the coronavirus pandemic bore important lessons for society. But for the FDA, which specific lessons were learned? This was among the questions answered by Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, who was the Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse