Justin Bootz Discusses Legend Produce's Current Cantaloupe Season
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Legend Produce, home of the Origami cantaloupe, has its boots laced up as we welcome a favorite eating month for melons on the U.S. calendar. Coming off one of his busiest weeks to date, Justin Bootz, Sales, tells me the volume of business is indicative of the season’s outlook so far.
“We’re already picking, packing, and shipping out of both Yuma, Arizona, and Holtville, California, and the crop is fantastic. Now through June will be one of the best times to buy a cantaloupe, and, barring any strange or unfavorable weather, we see no reason for this to change,” Justin tells me, sharing that Legend is just coming out of peak volume. “It seemed cantaloupe was pretty tight going into the holiday weekend, but things are leveling off a little bit now. We’re still hitting good numbers and, as more volume comes into play, we should see the market come down a little bit in the coming weeks.”
Quality out of both locations, he adds, is absolutely great, with pricing remaining in line with Legend’s pre-season expectations and consistent with historical pricing. The biggest challenge this year Justin points out is one the industry as a whole is working to conquer: transportation.
“Freight rates are hitting all-time highs right now, and it’s not only about the rates: It’s about being able to even secure a ride in the first place. For some of our programmed business based on delivered pricing, we are having a very difficult time making sure we are covering our costs,” he points out.
One key step, Justin shares, is in teamwork from both sides of the business. Working with buyers on cost concessions to get back the FOB needed to the farm is a crucial strategic point to ensure those loads take care of everyone in the supply chain.
Most importantly, Legend Produce is doing all it can to support its partners.
“We remain absolutely committed to delivering product at the highest quality. As always, Legend Produce is the home of the Origami cantaloupe—a full slip, western shipper-style cantaloupe. It’s aromatic and full of flavor, with a small seed cavity and thin rind, not like most of the long-shelf-life varieties that other growers focus on,” Justin reminds me. “We’ll start our westside crop out of California’s San Joaquin Valley around July 4th and ship out of Mendota, California, between then through September, into early October.”
As Legend Produce continues to live up to its name, it sounds like sooner is better to place orders for this summertime favorite!