Bobalu’s Anthony Gallino Discusses Strawberry Market and California Weather

From And Now u Know | 19 December 2022

Overview of strawberries from California in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on December 15, 2022. 

OXNARD, CA – Mother Nature has given us an active December thus far in California. Wet weather has moved across the state in recent weeks, bringing rain and colder temperatures to major growing regions like Santa Maria and Oxnard. With strawberry season in full swing for Bobalu, I got in touch with Anthony Gallino, Vice President of Sales, to get a read on the market.

“December has brought us the usual uncertainties that come with winter weather. Our California fall crops in both Santa Maria and Oxnard have experienced rain and cold temperatures along with the shorter days that have affected our forecasted volume,” he began. “We have been relying on Mexico to help during this shoulder of the strawberry season, which continues to increase crossings each week but still not fulfilling the demand we have in the marketplace.”

strawberry volumes by or 4

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Anthony explained that as Mexico growers continue to increase their numbers, Bobalu is expecting to see pricing loosen up a bit in the next 10 days or so.

“This is definitely different than it was at the same time last year, but we know that no two years are alike, and we have been praying for rain, so we are just doing our best to work around the weather, pick ahead when we can, then clean up fields after to maintain quality, and move on,” Anthony told me.

As Bobalu continues to pull fruit from its Mexico farming partners, the supplier is excited about the beginning of its 2023 California crop, which is right around the corner.

“We are just beginning to harvest a very small amount from our fields in Coachella, CA, and we are about 10 days away from doing the same in our Oxnard fields,” Anthony continued. “What we see of the few boxes coming out of Coachella is large, red, firm, and delicious fruit, so we are very encouraged for what is ahead.”

On a final note, Anthony relayed that although Bobalu has experienced some struggles to keep its core customers supplied for the holiday demand, the grower sees some positive news ahead with a new crop and a whole new season on the horizon.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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