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Nogales Fresco

Profiling the produce portal of the Southwest

“A lot of houses in Nogales also have branches in McAllen because freight to the eastern part of the country from there is cheaper,” confirmed Frank Garcia, president of All Service Distributors, Ltd. in Nogales.

In comparing last year’s winter deal with this year’s volume—is there much change? If so, what factors most influenced this fluctuation?

Chris Ciruli, Ciruli Brothers, LLC
“We’re planting similar acreage to what we planted last year. Volumes are difficult to predict; so much has to do with weather. But our initial crop plantings are going to be about the same.”

Allison Moore, Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
“We’re expecting similar volumes to last year on all the main items. The only changes we might see would be additional greenhouse items on some commodities, such as tomatoes and cucumbers. But otherwise, it’s the normal Nogales deal.”

Robert Bennen Jr., Ta-De Distributing Company
“Up until now, from the info I receive from my growers, I haven’t heard anything about volume being much different either way. The hurricane [Manuel, which hit in September], however, will definitely have an impact. How winds affected the shade houses, and how fast growers are able to replant after the rains will play a huge part in what happens this winter out of Mexico.”

Anthony Garcia, Border Transport, Inc.
“We’re hoping for a bigger winter deal this year. Growers are saying they put more in the ground; I would say it is going to be a pretty good deal this year.”

Mickey Bachelier, Omega Produce Company, Inc.
“It depends on what the growers want to do, but we try to keep about the same volume and the same commodities—green bell peppers, hothouse reds, Persian pickles, cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, kobucha and romano beans, and in the spring, possibly honeydews and watermelons.”

Adrian Gonzalez, Jr., Righetti Farms, LLC
“We do the winter deal and redistribute here from our facility. It pretty much stays the same; sometimes factors like weather or poor markets can cause a drop in one crop and an increase in another, but for the most part, it stays the same year after year.”

April Batriz, BJ Brothers Produce, LLC
“The change we’re bringing this year is offering more variety earlier in the year. We used to start off with serranos (peppers), then bring in jalapenos, and then poblanos. This year, we will have more variety sooner, partially because we were able to plant a little earlier.”

Frank Garcia, All Service Distributors, Ltd.
“The understanding is that they’ve planted for a bigger deal than last year, but the real question is whether the weather will allow it. If you have inclement weather, the deal shrinks up. Price and supply play a role, too—if the price is not where it needs to be, they plow the stuff under because it’s not worth picking and packing. I don’t think anyone can say it’s going to be a bigger deal until all is said and done and the money is counted.”

But while Texas port of entries have better proximity to the East, they lack the concentration factor found in Nogales.