Winter is upon us in the tomato category. Mexico is hitting their stride for production. Favorable growing conditions are increasing supply, although—with many different growing techniques—quality has a wide range. Florida growers have been in good shape up until this week. We will be watching the temperature for the next few days at least as the current cold spell that has been widespread in the lower 48 is finally reaching some of the growing regions.
Mature greens: Florida tomatoes are steady and quality is reportedly very good. As Mexico growers have come into the market, we find ourselves loading more often in Nogales and Texas, and product grown in protected environments. Quality is very good.
Vine-ripe: Vine ripe tomatoes continue to trade at a premium over the mature green counterparts. There is a spread in the market that indicates quality, mostly attributable to open-field or enclosed growing practices.
The Roma market remains stronger than expected. Supply is in pretty good shape, but not outpacing demand at the moment and appears to be steady for the moment.
Grapes and Cherries:
Grape tomatoes remain in good supply and cherries have improved as well. Quality is good overall, though we are still looking for the sweeter varieties to enter the market.
Mexico production continues to improve and market is coming down slowly.
Organic tomatoes have continued to provide challenges but as additional growers have started their season we should have the market settle in the next few weeks.
Heirlooms have been very elusive in the last few weeks. Production will steadily increase from Mexico, and the market should recede in another couple of weeks as larger growers enter the market.