GR Fresh's Tony Incaviglia Discusses Winter Tomato Season and More
MCALLEN, TX - While many of us mere mortals are already losing sight of the goals we’ve set for 2019—if this includes you, don’t feel bad! I’ve already forgotten the resolutions I outlined over the holidays—GR Fresh is proving those in produce are in a class of their own. Seven days in and GR Fresh is setting an all-time record for checking the boxes of its 2019 goals, which, in the words of Tony Incaviglia, VP of Sales and Marketing, mainly included getting back to being lean and mean.
“The last two winter seasons were very challenging due to oversupply and the lack of impactful demand. So, as a company, we felt it was a time to take a breather and get back to being lean and mean,” Tony shared with me. “We actually cut back our acreage by approximately 30 percent. We stuck with our staple items, Roma, round, and grape tomatoes, along with our cucumbers and green bell peppers. We took that mentality of ‘do a few and do them well.’”
Currently, GR Fresh is harvesting in the Culiacan and Los Mochis growing regions. Tony explained that early crops, like cucumbers, green bell peppers, and grape tomatoes, have been in production since late November/early December, while Roma and round vine-ripened tomatoes will be ramping up next week. In addition, GR Fresh is excited about its organic category, touting organic Roma, organic grape tomatoes, and organic mini sweet peppers as the crops to beat this season.
Tony also noted that while colder temperatures have presented a few challenges, GR Fresh has been able to deliver a consistently good-looking pack, provide good shelf-life, meet its retail specs, and fulfill order commitments.
“Weather has been a challenge to say the least. Cold temperatures have slowed growth significantly, and open field crops took a hit with possible long-term impact. As far as our supply goes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green bell peppers, which are mostly shade house, hung in there this season, and we should not have any long-term issues,” Tony explained.
With temperatures in the region beginning to warm up to the mid to high 50s next week, GR Fresh is looking forward to setting the produce bar high in 2019,
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