SunFed’s summer program will build Texas distribution

RIO RICO, AZ— Currently, 80 percent of the Mexican produce imported by SunFed enters the U.S. through Nogales. The remaining 20 percent is crossing the border in south Texas for distribution from a SunFed facility in Edinberg.

“However, tomatoes are opposite,” according to Matt Mandel, COO of SunFed, “with 80 percent running through Texas.”

SunFed continues to develop a summertime program, and tomatoes are key to that program, according to Craig Slate, president of the firm.

SunFed-Matt-CraigMatt Mandel and Craig SlateThere is also a focus on organic cucumbers, mini-cukes and squash grown year-round in central Mexico and shipped through Texas during the summer months.

SunFed’s springtime tomato production comes from southern Sonora.

Last year SunFed entered the transportation business. The company now owns three trucks. With trucks available, “we control the whole process,” he said. Often in trucking “price is not the issue but availability.”

West Mexican vegetables, initially expected for the early spring deal in late February, “will either be late or never come to fruition,” Mandel said Feb. 5.

The night of Feb. 4 saw freezing temperatures in key Sonoran growing districts. He indicated that more freezing was forecast for the night of Feb. 5.

These developments are the latest setback from a siege by Mother Nature.

Mandel indicated that growers in La Costa, which is near Sonora’s Pacific coast west of Hermosillo, reported freezing on the night of Feb. 4. Other reports indicated 32-degree temperatures in Hermosillo. Guaymas and Obregon also had temperatures that would freeze crops.

The extent of that damage, atop whatever was coming from a frosty forecast, would be unknown for several days, Mandel said.

He noted that variations in topography across the region — and even between adjacent farms — would likely bring varied levels of damage, depending on temperatures in a very specific field.

Visiting Nogales, The Produce News on Jan. 22 called upon Mandel and Slate to discuss what was already a very difficult season.

At that time, they hoped for warmer weather and to see a turn toward normalization by Feb. 17.

The Feb. 5 follow-up call to Mandel indicated that wouldn’t be happening.

California poised for large strawberry crop
The California acreage devoted to strawberry production is up a bit this year, which points to a record year in volume. Consider that from 2014 to 2018, California farmers have introduced higher yielding varieties while decreasing acres, resulting in record levels of production year after year. Last year was expected to Read More ...
H-E-B, Favor double delivery service area
H-E-B and Favor Delivery have expanded service to support even more Texans. With this move, Favor has doubled its delivery coverage area statewide to give more Texans access to on-demand delivery from restaurants and stores, and to support more seniors via the H-E-B & Favor Senior Support Program. In rapid response to the Read More ...
Potandon Produce adds Midwest Regional Sales Manager
As it looks to grow its value-added product offerings and strategic partnerships, Potandon Produce LLC, based in Idaho Falls, ID, has announced the hiring of John Palczynski as Midwest regional sales manager, a new position. Palczynski, who will work remotely from his home outside of Chicago, will be an ambassador for Read More ...
Sun Fresh bullish on Pristine crop
Now in its 21st year of operations, family-owned Sun Fresh International is doing its best to survive the craziness that the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on the world. Before any of this hit, the company was having a good season, especially with its Blanc Seedless variety marketed as Pristine. “The fruit quality Read More ...
Produce Box Project aims to nourish frontline responders
Washington, DC, healthcare workers at Children’s National Hospital were the recipients of a much appreciated and nutritious delivery of fresh produce boxes from the supply management company Produce Alliance LLC, and their charity arm, Produce Alliance Foundation. Children’s National Hospital was the kick-off event for the Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse