Braga Fresh's Gabriel Tegenkamp Discusses Iceberg Lettuce Market
- by Anne Allen
GONZALES, CA - Despite the shift in weather, lettuce continues to be a staple for consumers across the nation. No matter the time of year, buyers are after greens. I spoke with Gabriel Tegenkamp, Sales Account and Commodity Manager, to find out more about the current state of the iceberg lettuce market and how Braga Fresh is positioning itself to be a go-to supplier partner.
“We’ve been able to help support our current and new customers with both conventional Braga Fresh and Josie’s Organics Iceberg during this tight market period,” Gabriel noted. “Our iceberg program is rapidly growing. We are also expanding our organic iceberg product line with the launch of Josie’s Organic Baby Iceberg next month.”
With organic iceberg quality keeping the market active, Braga Fresh has been fortunate to stay ahead of it. Overall, the market remains strong, Gabriel remarked, due to some suppliers being lighter than others in supply.
“Conventional iceberg lettuce will remain on the tight side for the rest of the Salinas season due to lower yields having the biggest impact on local processors,” he commented. “They’ve been keeping the carton market steady, which is currently in the mid-high $20’s, since they’ve been looking for acreage and trying to avoid harvesting Yuma and Imperial fields prematurely. If the desert isn’t on schedule, we’ll start to see industry wide gaps in supply, which will keep the markets active at the start of the Yuma/Imperial season."
The organic iceberg market will also remain active for the remainder of the Salinas season for similar reasons. Braga Fresh reports that the desert varieties are currently on schedule, so no gaps in supply are foreseen.
"We have a great harvest team that we communicate with daily on all of our conventional and organic commodities,” Gabriel stated. “Our weekly forecast meetings help the commodity managers get a sense of what supply and quality will be for a month out and beyond. This gives us time to sync our production plans with our customer’s needs.”
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