Ippolito International's John Landa Details Cauliflower Market
SALINAS, CA - My mom taught me at a young age that cauliflower serves as a perfect side dish—steamed to perfection and topped with a bit of salt. This is one veg that continues to drive consumers to the produce aisle, so I recently tapped the prowess of Ippolito International to see what the grower’s season has in store.
“We’re in the home stretch of the Salinas Valley deal, with a couple weeks left before we transition to Yuma on November 13,” says John Landa, Cauliflower Commodity Manager. “We are currently harvesting general varieties that are conducive to our location and season. We primarily grow within Salinas, but we do have occasional lots in the areas south of Salinas, which are somewhat outside the norm for us but are historically proven to be productive lots for us.”
John tells me that for the majority of the season, the quality of Ippolito’s cauliflower has been good to excellent. The previous 4-5 weeks did pose challenges due to some extreme, late-season heat. As weather continued to fluctuate, the plants became stressed by these rapid changes. Temperatures are now beginning to level back to normal, and Ippolito’s cauliflower quality is on the up and up.
“We’re on the brink of the Thanksgiving holiday pull. Typically, we experience heightened demand coupled with our industry’s regional transition southward, and, frequently, adverse weather. I like to say it’s something comparable to a ‘Dirty Martini’—a normally manageable situation with a bit of jarring saltiness thrown in!” John continues. “At the moment, the market is right at its tipping point where volumes exceed demand, and are just starting to recover from bottoming out.”
In addition to this exciting season, it’s worth highlighting that Ippolito International has emphasized partnership, flexibility, and consistently high levels of customer service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has been a part of all of our lives as we’ve struggled to collectively assess, maneuver, and provide value, all while putting an even greater emphasis toward safety. New workplace regulations including retrofits for social distancing are the new normal, making the majority of this year anything but business as usual,” John explains. “As our customers’ needs changed, we’ve pivoted our operations to meet new and demanding circumstances.”
It’s growers such as Ippolito International that will continue bringing premium produce to retail for generations to come. Keep a tab open for AndNowUKnow as we bring you the latest market updates.