MAS Melons & Grapes' Miky Suarez Discusses Mexican Grapes
- by Geneva Hutcheson
RIO RICO, AZ - MAS Melons & Grapes President Miky Suarez, a Mexican table grape business veteran of 30 years, has announced that Mexican table grapes have overcome last year’s remarkable delay and will start this season at the normal time in the first week of May. Though the volume is estimated between 14 million and 16 million, if weather conditions allow, there may be a higher volume.
“I expect harvest to start the first week in May, but chances are we could see few table grape trucks crossing into the U.S. the last week of April," Suarez explained. “During the first week or so, we are going to see lower crossings than the average we are used to seeing.”
Mexican table grapes are grown in five areas in the country: Tuxcacuesco in Jalisco and Ciudad Obregon, Guaymas, Hermosillo, and Caborca in the northwestern state of Sonora. Tuxcacuesco production is still relatively small; Hermosillo is, by far, the country’s leading production region, according to a recent press release. The Mexican Department of Agriculture (SAGARPA) reports that over 95 percent of Mexican table grape production occurs in Sonora, and 9 out of every 10 tons of Mexican table grapes are grown in Hermosillo and Caborca alone.
This year, MAS Melons & Grapes has added to its marketing line up of Perlette, Flame, Sugraone, Black Seedless, and Red Globe with new varieties Ivory from the Spanish-based SNFL Group and other ARRRA Varieties known as Early Sweet. Next year, the company plans to expand production of these varieties considerably.
“We are proud that, this season, the Ortiz Ciscomani family’s Agricola Orqui, S.A. de C.V. has decided MAS Melons & Grapes to market a reasonable portion of their table grape production, as we have had the privilege to distribute their honeydew melons and squashes over the past years,” said Suarez.
Miky expects quality and size to improve this season to meet consumer demand for large size grapes. MAS Melons & Grapes' grapes are marketed under the Desert Pride® brand and available in 18 lb boxes containing either 9-2 lb bags each or 4 lb and 3 lb clam shells, which are sold primarily to club stores like Costco and Sam’s.
“Some of our table grape customers here in the U.S. consider our company as a boutique-type distributor, as every single order received is thoroughly customized and consistently delivered under the highest quality and service standards,” Suarez added.
In addition to shipping to the U.S. market, MAS Melons & Grapes also ships to New Zealand and Japan, and, depending on market conditions, to some southeastern Asian countries. To follow both domestic and global produce production, keep reading AndNowUKnow.