Duda Farm Fresh Foods' Martin Jefferson Discusses Veg Transition
SALINAS , CA - Along with rising temperatures in the northern hemisphere, patterns are shifting in the produce aisle to reflect shoppers’ seasonal demands. Consumers are ready for a fresh bite of summer, and Duda Farm Fresh Foods knows exactly what they’re looking for. As the company nears one of its most important transitions of the year, I had the chance to discuss details with Martin Jefferson, Production Manager.
“The bulk of our transition will occur at the end of this month and the beginning of next. Moving into the first full week of April, we’ll be 100 percent transitioned to Salinas, California, and Oxnard, California, from the desert regions in Yuma, Arizona, and Imperial, California. Our celery transitioned out of Yuma and into Oxnard mid-March, and will move to Salinas toward the beginning of June,” Martin told me.
Head lettuce, romaine, mixed leaf lettuces, broccoli, and cauliflower production will be transitioning to Salinas, while celery production will transition to Oxnard. Martin explained that timing is everything—not only when it comes to the physical transition, but also in terms of labor and logistics.
“During a crop transition, we are working the normal seasonal fluctuation at the conclusion of one region and start of the other without creating a gap or overlap,” Martin said. “Similarly, it’s important to ensure your workforce is aligned with the timing of the transition because you cannot just close one district down and open another. You have to create a seamless flow from one region to another.”
Duda reported that there are no major weather concerns at the moment. Mother Nature has been cooperative for the grower thus far, and Martin noted that its retail and foodservice partners can expect an uninterrupted supply during this transition period.
Where there is demand, there will be a movement in supply, so keep checking in on reports from ANUK.