Southern Specialties Reports Delayed Asparagus Transition, Expects Great Volume, Quality from Mexico
POMPANO BEACH, FL – With winter well underway and spring on its heels, asparagus is on the minds of enterprising retailers. What does the remainder of the season have to offer in the way of asparagus imports from Peru and Mexico? We tapped Charlie Eagle, Vice President of Business and Development for Southern Specialties, to find out just what we can expect from asparagus throughout the season.
“We grow in Peru year-round, and right around this time of year, we typically transition a good portion of our growing to Caborca, Mexico,” notes Charlie, when I ask where the company stands in terms of production as of January 16. “That Caborca crop has been slow to come on because we’ve had some rain and some cool weather. We predict that, for about another week, the majority of our product will be coming from Peru, but that should turn around, shortly, once the weather improves.”
Charlie notes that the quality of asparagus coming out of Peru has generally been very good, but yield has decreased slightly from last year, and available volumes haven’t provided retailers with many opportunities to promote their product.
“We are seeing yields that are just a little lower, because many of our fields are maturing. Our fields in Peru have been planted for several years and harvested on a regular basis; over the years, as the fields mature, the yields do go down a little bit. We’ve had steady demand through the season so far, and the prices out of Peru have been a higher than in the past,” Charlie tells me.
Once production transitions to Mexico, though, Southern Specialties can expect an excellent supply of high-quality produce.
“We expect Mexico to start production from Caborca and other areas with good yields and good quality,” says Charlie. “And we expect to have promotable volumes through the remainder of the season—available both through our Pompano Beach, FL, facility and through San Luis, AZ.”
For years, Charlie explains, Southern Specialties has offered Southern Select value-added asparagus in a variety of package sizes, ideally suited for a variety of consumers’ needs. “We offer a variety of sizes and pack styles that are suited to many different types of customers—from a club store-type two-pound package all the way down to our Southern Selects asparagus tips available in an eight-ounce microwaveable bag.”
With year-round programs for both varieties, Southern Specialties expects to have ample supply of green and white asparagus for the remainder of the season, and as spring approaches, the company will begin to supply purple asparagus, as well.
“In addition to that,” adds Charlie, “we have good volumes of organic asparagus available, and we encourage buyers to contact us to discuss our organic asparagus program.”
For updates as the season progresses, check back in with AndNowUKnow.