Little Bear Produce's Jeff Brechler Details HoneySweet® Crops
PERU - The infamous ogre Shrek once said, “Onions have layers.” Like onions (and ogres), growing operations also have layers, and they are dependent on each other to achieve a successful harvest. To get a better sense of the company’s operational layers, I linked up with Jeff Brechler, Sales, at Little Bear Produce, who detailed the market’s promotional volumes and a first for the company in organics.
“Currently, we are about two-thirds of the way through our Peruvian onion season,” Jeff told me. “We are harvesting our HoneySweet® onions—the only variety that we produce. We'll continue with the Peruvian crop through the middle to the latter part of February, then we will transition into our HoneySweets out of Mexico.”
Further peeling back the layers, I then asked Jeff how the quality of Little Bear’s onions are shaping up. Noting that multiple growers have outperformed expectations and produced higher yields, Jeff explained that the quality of product is also better than anticipated.
“Overall, the Peruvian season seems to be going well for us. We currently have Peruvian organic sweet onions, which is a first for us,” he continued. “In Mexico, the weather seems to be cooperating. We haven't seen issues with disease or insect pressure and, at this point, quality looks very good out of Mexico.”
Buyers and consumers are in the midst of their ideal onion market, looking at promotable volumes and maximum value. However, Little Bear has seen an abundance of product that’s causing a slight dip in prices. From a grower perspective, this can sometimes mean a challenging market.
"It started off really strong, and then it steadily declined," Jeff said, explaining that this could be the result of higher-than-anticipated yield or perhaps over-planting onion volume. "It's a shame that when the grower does well production-wise, he ends up getting penalized by lower markets or cheaper prices."
Despite this, onion growers across the industry should expect to see a leveled supply and demand change within the coming months.
Follow along with us at ANUK as we assess the market for all fresh fruits and vegetables.