Ippolito International's Bill Vargas Talks Tight Lettuce Market
SALINAS, CA - Ah lettuce, an essential player to most salads or the base to delicious wraps. The crispy crunch makes any plate refreshing, making the category a necessity for summer dishes. As the country continues reopening, Ippolito International’s Bill Vargas, Lettuce Commodity Manager, gives the lowdown on what retail partners should expect this season.
“Currently, Ippolito is fully in the summertime season. In terms of harvest, we’ve been running a bit ahead of schedule, and our quality has been strong,” he says. “Although we continually trial new lettuce varieties, the ones we’re harvesting within our Salinas Valley blocks are similar to what we used last year.”
In a typical season, Ippolito’s summer plantings would reflect the expectation of supply from local growers, but changes in the norm coupled with the impact of the coronavirus has the grower projecting supply to be a little tight, and perhaps sooner than normal.
“Our sizing and color are consistent, and we’re keeping a close eye on a quality pack, so we’re keeping our customers happy,” Bill continues. “As the summer season progresses, our supply is already constricting—which we expect to continue throughout July and August, especially if the weather stays warmer.”
Despite fluctuating daily temperatures through the Salinas Valley, Bill says the harvest is still going on smoothly.
“We experienced a minimal amount of tip burn due to the weather, but the quality has been strong for the most part,” Bill explains. “Our harvest crews have put in a little bit more effort throughout our lots, but this is becoming less of a concern as the season continues.”
As temperatures turn up, retail sales will sizzle this season as consumers get in the outdoorsy mood. Stick around with AndNowUKnow as we bring you the latest the industry has to offer.
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