Baloian Farms' Susan McLaughlin Discusses Bell Pepper Market and Transition Insights
FRESNO, CA - Transitions, as crucial as they are exciting, are the connective tissue to year-round supply. One team that has this connection smooth and ready to flex is Baloian Farms. Currently on the cusp of its Thermal and Bakersfield, California, bell pepper seasons, the company is wrapping the former and headed into the latter with no gaps in sight.
“Volumes are lightening up as we get ready for our transition to Bakersfield the second week of June. Quality out of Thermal is still very nice and production is doing a good job of putting up a really nice pack,” Susan McLaughlin, Marketing Coordinator, shares. “Markets are mostly steady. Volumes will be lighter on green bells in particular until Bakersfield really gets kicked into gear mid-June.”
Price-wise, Susan adds that current markets are lower compared to the same time last year for both retail and foodservice packs.
“Pricing was in the mid-20's on the retail grades and in the high teens on the foodservice packs. This year retail grades are trading in the high teens while choice is in the low teens,” she shares, adding that transportation continues to be a challenge across the industry. “Truck rates are really expensive—well above average—and the availability of trucks is down dramatically. This is forcing customers to minimize their number of picks and load as many items as they can each time they stop the truck.”
This last aspect is one Baloian Farms can assist its customers with, having a versatile range of offerings it is well versed in mixing and matching on the truck.
“We are also performing consolidation services at our Fresno location to help our customers,” Susan tells me. “This benefits our customers due to our expanded line of products we are offering in Fresno, such as peppers, eggplant, hard squash, sweet red onion, chili peppers, zucchini, yams, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers.”
In addition to Thermal and Bakersfield, California, Baloian Farms grows throughout the state of California and Mexico. Thermal kicks off the spring from the beginning of April before the company moves north through Bakersfield, Fresno, Stockton, Hollister, and Oxnard, circling back to Thermal in the fall. Once the cold weather starts creeping in, the company transitions to Mexico’s Baja California, Sonora, and Sinaloa, completing a 12-month offering to its buy-side customers.
As we too continue to follow the seasons, AndNowUKnow will ensure that you stay up to date on all the latest.