Josh Acuña Dishes on the SunFed® Perfect Produce® Program and Mexican Produce Supplies
- by Jordan Okumura
RIO RICO, AZ - For me, one of the essential one-two punches in fresh produce is a quality supply chain backed by a vibrant and eye-catching packaging program that can deliver both value and excellence. Not so much to ask right?
SunFed® and its Perfect Produce® program is one operation hitting on all fronts as the company looks to transition its growing regions and bring more benefits to retailers. But, enough from this writer, I checked in with Josh Acuña, National Account Sales for the company, to discuss SunFed's offerings and advantages, even as we face a tight market on Mexican veg.
“We are currently growing in the western states of Jalisco, Sinaloa, and in Sonora. Our team is seeing production numbers slowly decrease in the south and, in Sonora, we are transitioning from the Guaymas area into multiple areas in and around Hermosillo,” Josh shares with me. “Under normal circumstances, our volumes would be much greater at this point in the season. But our circumstances have been anything but normal this year. Weather events have been a regular occurrence and have not allowed for much consistency in supply patterns.”
In order to mitigate the interference of Mother Nature, SunFed partners closely with retailers to address urgency in the market and share the most up-to-date information that can best inform decisions all around.
“At the moment, we are receiving SunFed hothouse and organic green bells as well as hothouse colored peppers, hothouse and organic eggplant, hothouse seedless English cucumbers, and conventional and organic yellow and zucchini squash as well as conventional gray squash. When it comes to hothouse and organic slicer cucumbers, supplies have tightened up extremely and we are experiencing heightened demand,” Josh says. “We will see most of our Perfect Produce out of Sonora wind down in May, but we will continue with Perfect Cucumbers out of Sonora through the month of June.”
Josh also notes that normally, SunFed would be approaching the peak of its Sonoran production, but because of back-to-back nights with freezing temperatures in mid-February, this will be pushed back into late April. He adds that, even then, the team is expecting to see a volume reduction of at least 30 percent.
“While supplies express much volatility during a time of heightened concern in the market, we try to remain as a constant and reliable beacon for our partners,” Josh tells me.
SunFed offers a variety of creative and eye-catching packaging and display options that can be customized to a customer’s particular program of choice to complement the shelf-life extending modified atmosphere bags in each case of SunFed Perfect Produce. The company has SunFed Perfect Produce flowing through both Texas and Arizona shipping points, but the majority at this time is moving through Rio Rico in Southern Arizona.
“We will see a shift to all products shipping out of Texas as we transition out of Western Mexico and into Central Mexico in the latter part of June,” Josh wraps up.
With the dynamic market and constant change keeping all facets of the industry on its toes, it is great to know that supplier partners can help the buy-side weather the storm.