MAS Melons & Grapes Comments on Table Grape Program
RIO RICO, AZ - Last week, I spoke with Miguel “Mikee” Suarez, Jr. about the state of MAS Melons & Grapes’ melon program. The conversation sparked another with Miguel “Miky” Suarez, President, who had multiple insights regarding the table grape market, pricing, and more.
“The inventories of Chilean grapes are ending in North America, and while it was considered a potential issue—both Chilean and Sonoran grapes being present in the market—is now behind us. The feeling in the market is starting to look like a demand exceeds supply situation that is typical of the beginning of any season,” Miky explains. “The quality of the fruit is generally good, and the volumes are starting to increase, but at a little bit of a slower pace than normal. This seems to be due to the difference in the maturity of the bunches within the vines that we are experimenting with this season. The weather, other than being a little windy, has been good for the most part.”
As can be expected with high demand, Miky notes that—against his expectations—the market is tighter on red grapes than green.
“This kind of makes sense because the green grapes from Sonora are naturally earlier than the red grapes,” Miky remarks, “but this year, since there were bigger inventories of red Chilean grapes in North America, there should have been some carryover of reds into this spring. But then again, in the grape industry, many times what seems to be true is often not. At this time, I think there are all the necessary promotions in place to move the incoming volumes of grapes projected.”
With prices of fruit currently higher compared to last year, Miky comments that, in the grape industry, changes come at the drop of a hat.
“Time is measured in days, sometimes in hours, and you need to be prepared to adapt at a moment's notice. I have always thought that time during the grape season is measured like dog years, seven to one. We need to take things one day at a time but be ready to make the necessary changes ASAP because if you don't, you might not lose one day, you can potentially lose seven,” he says.
And MAS Melons & Grapes is the partner you want in your corner when these changes occur.
“Our main focus is on getting all our customer's trucks loaded and ready to go in the least amount of time possible. Efficiency is important to MAS and we know how to efficiently fill our customers' needs. Expect more? Expect MAS!” Miky concludes.
As table grapes continue to be a vital part of retail programs, partnering with MAS means partnering with surety of supply.