SunFed's Josh Acuña Details Excellent Quality and Tight Cucumber Market
RIO RICO, AZ - When I was growing up, Japanese cucumbers were a mainstay in my household. Slice ’em up, sprinkle a little salt, and boom! You’ve got yourself a healthy, crunchy snack. Over the years, consumers have been exposed to new and different varieties of cucumbers by retailers, but they always fit the bill for elevated munching. With the industry in the thick of precarious growing conditions, I reached out to Josh Acuña, National Account Sales at SunFed, to reassure me that retailers and the ’cumber-craving masses will still have access to exceptional cukes throughout the season.
“We’re experiencing back-to-back seasons of excellent quality on our SunFed Perfect Cucumbers,” he told me. “The dedication and commitment from our growers to ensure customers have ‘Perfect Produce’ drives everything.”
SunFed dabbles in several cucumber varieties in both conventional and organic. The grower’s Perfect Cucumbers, which includes both European and slicers, make up SunFed’s conventional offerings, and Persian and slicer cucumbers are available under its organic label. The grower is currently producing these varieties throughout Mexico in Guaymas, Culiacán, and San Luis Potosí. With a wide range of cucumber varieties and strategic growing regions, SunFed is well-positioned to meet rising consumer demand for the category.
“SunFed actually ships cucumbers year round, but in relation to our current production out of West Mexico growing regions, we’re shy of the halfway mark,” said Josh. “We expect Perfect Cucumbers to arrive here in Rio Rico as late as July.”
Any grower could tell you that this season has seen some rocky weather, and SunFed is no exception. High winds and heavy rains spread throughout Sonora and Sinaloa since the start of SunFed’s production in October. But despite the battering from Mother Nature, SunFed maintains its strict quality practices as it strives to cultivate Perfect Produce.
The fields are not the only tricky spot in the cucumber supply chain, as the state of the market has a tremendous impact on the category. Josh commented that the current cucumber market is very tight and is expected to remain so through December.
“At this moment, demand is by far exceeding supplies,” he said. “It will be after the holidays before we feel some relief and we are able to promote.”
It is that promotion that is key for addressing a difficult market, and the tools and support that growers offer retailers can make all the difference in the world. SunFed has introduced new high-graphic floor display bins for its Perfect Produce and Perfect Organics cucumbers, which fit one display ready carton (DRC) or reusable plastic container (RPC).
SunFed, it seems, is combatting a difficult season with optimism and ingenuity, and with Josh’s words of wisdom on the state of the market, I found my cucumber worries assuaged.
To stay abreast of category market fluctuation, keep reading AndNowUKnow.