Tanimura & Antle Nears Transition to Yuma Lettuce Regions, Anthony Mazzuca and Samantha Cabaluna Discuss
SALINAS, CA – Lettuce yields are looking steady as August picks up steam, and should Mother Nature continue to hold off on her curveballs Tanimura & Antle says it expects a steady road to its Yuma transition.
“The dog days of summer are upon us right now. With domestic fruit production and locally-grown deals in full swing, this is curbing customer demand to promote leafy greens,” Anthony Mazzuca, Senior Director of Commodity Management for the company tells me. “Yields have been doing fine outside of a couple of isolated issues here and there. We had a cold spell that hit us about ten days ago but things are back to normal here in Salinas, even a bit warm.”
The fields are still seeing good quality as well, he adds, explaining that a few strays do not make up for the whole, and the weather has given the plants what they need.
Demand for lettuce, Anthony said, is where growers and buyers would usually expect it at this point in the season, while Vice President of Brand Marketing & Communications Samantha Cabaluna shares that the company is keeping consumer attention with its Artisan Romaine.
He explains that Tanimura & Antle’s partnerships also play a key role in the program’s ability to hold fast, commenting, “We strongly appreciate the partnerships with our customers. The deeper the partnership, the better we can plan to meet the customer's evolving needs."
“We are starting to see ramped up interest in the Artisan Romaine, despite its having been out for a couple years. Chefs especially instantly see the value of it, but consumers are starting to rediscover its versatility, so we are definitely seeing a surge in retail,” Samantha says.
Anthony agreed, adding that in addition to the Artisan Romaine, the company also has a key focus on further expanding its organic offerings.
“Organics is a key topic to continue to talk about–we launched our organic romaine heart and Artisan organic lettuce at the end of May, and we’ll be launching our organic artisan red onion this month,” he shares, adding that plans are on track for the launch of organic broccoli, celery, and cauliflower as the company gets into the desert regions. “So it will be really exciting to go on to that.”
With both a calm grasp on its current lettuce operations, and so much more in the works for the season to come, keep checking in with AndNowUKnow as we keep our ear to the ground for all the latest.