Bridges Produce's Jacobo Yanes, Oscar Trujillo, and Sydney Fairchild Discuss Winter Squash Production
MEXICO - Winter is hands down my favorite season, in part because of the beautiful varieties of squash awaiting me in the produce department. As other like-minded consumers hit the aisles, they are certain to be satisfied when they discover Bridges Produce’s assortment of high-quality squash greeting them, due in part to favorable weather conditions across the supplier’s Mexico growing regions.
“Almost everything we are packing is #1 grade this season,” says Jacobo Yanes, Operations Manager, Rico Farms. “We had very good weather from planting until the last week of December and rains the first week of January with the potential for more light rain in Guaymas and Los Mochis, but nothing out of the ordinary. Overall, this has led to production yields being strong so far.”
Despite seeing crops on time and producing as planned or earlier, demand from consumers and retailers is pushing production for the grower as its works to fill needs.
“We are just keeping up with demand for now,” Oscar Trujillo, Category Manager of Mexican Sales, imparts. “Our farm crew is established, steady, and performing well. Therefore, we are on schedule and will adjust pricing depending on any further changes in demand as we do not anticipate volume to fluctuate much.”
Turning to volume, Oscar explains that it has remained steady for the category year to year with several crop plantings spread through the winter and spring. This year, the grower is not planning on processing Butternut squash, however, as it has done in past seasons. This will lead to a very tight or non-existent season for the popular variety.
“We could potentially see something opening up in late February for processing Butternut squash,” Oscar adds. “Meanwhile, we are trying to keep up with retail carton commitments, although we could see a short gap in late March. There are opportunities for short-term Kabocha volume through January, and other varieties will remain firm and rise through the winter months. For our Acorn squash, we expect more limited supplies and higher prices now through mid-March.”
Complementing both quality and availability, Bridges further appeals to shoppers through the Fair Trade certification of several of its operations and its Delicata squash variety. Through this certification, the grower is working to meet consumers’ desire for ethically sourced products that not only taste good but make them feel good about opening their wallets.
“Both Rico Farms locations are Fair Trade certified, allowing employee chosen and executed quality of life projects to take place both on the farm and in workers’ home communities,” explains Sydney Fairchild, Marketing and Compliance. “All of our Delicata variety squash shipping this season is packed under the Fair Trade label, and other varieties can also be pre-ordered as Fair Trade. This recognizable marker provides additional promotional opportunities setting our hard squash apart, especially with the socially conscious and engaged demographics.”
With quality, volume, and ethos behind its products, Bridges’ squash will be a great addition to any produce department. So, reach out to a sales rep today to stock your shelves and have shoppers happily opening their wallets.