Sol Group Marketing Company's Mark Cassius Details Current Melon Outlook
POMPANO BEACH, FL - The burst of flavor that melons provide will cure anyone of the winter blues. To gauge the current melon outlook for Sol Group Marketing Company, I turned to Mark Cassius for more info.
“We began our Sol melons season several weeks ago with our first arrivals of cantaloupes and honeydew from sunny Guatemala,” the President shared with me. “Our personal watermelons are just starting, and we are about a week away from our seedless watermelon harvest in Honduras. The Honduran season will begin on cantaloupe and honeydew around the first week of January.”
Mark noted that getting land prepped was a bit challenging due to two hurricanes that touched Central America recently. Additionally, it was one of the wettest summers on record.
“However, our production team worked nonstop, and after a slight several-week delay, we are on track and very happy with the quality of the melons. Sizing and sugars will meet and exceed our customer's expectations, and as we move into January, we will have a promotable volume of melons at peak flavor and freshness,” he remarked.
As with most companies in the produce industry, Mark explained that recent price spikes across fertilizers, cardboard, plastics, and shipping costs will lead to a higher price for melons.
“We have worked diligently to control our production costs and reduce waste and redundancy in our business to bring the best value and quality melons and watermelons to U.S. and Canadian consumers,” he emphasized. “We have multiple varieties that deliver an excellent flavor profile and offer varying textures to provide a great eating experience for any taste and preferences. We will have a few trial varieties we will be testing out in select markets this season which we are excited to introduce.”
Sol Group is also a vertically integrated organization, a distinction that helps keep the company’s customers happy.
“We grow what we sell, and we sell what we grow. We control the product from seed in both Guatemala and Honduras to their final destination. We have several dedicated containerized ships that carry only our product, allowing us to consistently bring in the freshest fruit weekly into Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, and Southern California,” Mark said.
Mark added that a crucial aspect of the company’s program stems from its attention to sustainability and workforce wellbeing.
“We are very proud that Sol, along with our parent company Fyffes, is taking a leadership role in sustainability and the social wellbeing of our workforce. We have implemented high environmental, social, and governance management standards in our Guatemalan and Honduran operations,” he stated. “Recently, we received a socially responsible business award—the Socially Responsible Company Seal for the years 2022-2023—from the Honduran Foundation for Socially Responsible Business (FUNDAHRSE). FUNDAHRSE audited our melon farms in Honduras, and we received a 96 percent overall for human rights, governance, environment, fair operating practices, consumer affairs, community participation, and labor practices. We are delighted for this recognition for our people who have worked hard to achieve this goal.”
To stay in the know, you know what to do: Keep checking back in with AndNowUKnow.