Ippolito International's Greg Heinz Details Strong Supplies and Good Quality Ahead of Broccoli Transition
SALINAS, CA - Similar to the habits of birds and butterflies who shift climates throughout the seasons, our industry is in transition mode as well. Ippolito International is one such company, changing the scenery for its broccoli crops to continue producing strong supplies.
“Weather in both Salinas, California, and Yuma, Arizona, during the last three to four months has been very mild, thus there have not been many issues to hinder the planting and growing cycle in the Salinas Valley,” explains Greg Heinz, Broccoli Commodity Manager. “Despite one heavy rain episode at the end of January, winter weather has been incredibly mild in the Salinas Valley. We have had warm weather in both growing regions this past week, which will help promote growth and smooth supplies during the transition.”
Ippolito’s broccoli crop transition is already underway, having begun near the start of April and continuing throughout the next two to three weeks. The shift will occur as the grower moves its production of the veg from Yuma, Arizona, and its Mexican growing regions, where it has been for the last four months, up north to the milder climate of California’s Salinas Valley.
As the transition hits its stride, Ippolito is expecting strong supplies with no shortages on the horizon. The grower is also anticipating good quality for its broccoli, with nice sizing and weights on its bunch and crown packs. Greg also tells me that Ippolito is currently seeing tight, green clusters on both packs, having only minimal knuckling or purple cast at the field level from the heat.
Additionally, Greg expects the market to remain steady, as supplies are not estimated to fluctuate.
“The broccoli market has been pretty consistent over the past month or so, with levels fluctuating in the $9–$10 range on bunch broccoli and $10.50–$11.50 range on crown broccoli. Supplies have been, and are expected to continue to be, readily available for the most part for most shippers,” says Greg.
As Ippolito's transition continues, the grower also sees the need to pivot its production strategies to meet changing demand since the onset of COVID-19. However, Greg tells me things are starting to look up.
“This unpredictability between the foodservice and retail sectors still means packers and customers are having to shift their production as they continue to adjust,” explains Greg. “On the positive side, as the vaccine rollout continues throughout the country, it will hopefully add some stability. As different parts of the country’s foodservice operators continue to open back up, this could hopefully help create additional demand across the board.”
With strong supplies, good quality, and a potential rebound on the horizon, what is stopping you from loading up your produce aisle with fresh broccoli? I’m sure your shoppers will thank you!
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Ippolito International is a second-generation farming company providing year-round supplies of premium quality Queen...