Lakeside Organic Gardens' Brian Peixoto Discusses Lettuce Market
WATSONVILLE, CA - A variety of factors have led to a somewhat volatile lettuce market, as shippers report escalated pricing due to quality concerns, lower yields, and high demand. In order to catch up on the recent turn in the market, I spoke to Brian Peixoto of Lakeside Organic Gardens.
“Currently, there is no leaf available on the West Coast,” the Sales Manager shared with me. “Everyone, both conventional and organic, has pulled the pin amid aphid and weather issues. In California, Salinas and Watsonville are slow to start, and we are looking at a seasonal start at the end of March. The central Valley will probably start sooner.”
As many shippers are currently in the same boat, lower yields have been reported across the board, due in part to the pattern of adverse weather—which Brian echoed.
“Being organic, there’s not much we can do until we harvest March 28 up north on new blocks and ranches,” he said. “Because of the warmer weather and aphid pressure, most growers are in the same situation.”
Additional quality concerns such as tip and fringe burn, as well as blister and peel, have been reported by companies dealing in leafy greens.
Given the situation is not a singular event, the pressure to get leaf into the store is mounting. Brian did note there may be relief on the horizon.
“If the weather holds up here in the Pajaro Valley, we are hopeful we may be able to harvest sooner,” he remarked.
We’ll continue to keep our eyes on this situation, so stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for the latest.