January 25, 2018

Straight Talk: Weeks 4, 5, 6

Supply Forecast: January 21st – February 10th

No one can remember when a poor market was the result of so many negative forces hitting at once.

East coast freezing temperatures, historically high freight rates and truck shortages, a highly publicized and incorrect national news story advising consumers to avoid fresh romaine, and consistently warm temperatures (averaging 7 degrees above normal) over the past several weeks.

Consumer demand has been at a standstill from the misguided food safety reports and East Coast freezes. The markets have been reporting mountains of aging inventories and retail sales declines in excess of 25%. In many cases, the costs associated with handling the product exceed its value on the open market. In some cases foodbanks are so full they will not accept donations forcing disposal of product at landfills at a significant cost.

To make matters worse, production in the Sonoran Desert Valleys continues to be ahead of schedule due to consistently warmer weather pushing ample supplies. Acres of produce, faithfully tended to for months are being left behind, reluctantly plowed back into the ground.
Product movement has been further suppressed by an unprecedented truck shortage and spiking freight rates driven by (1) hurricane disasters and the FEMA need for trucks, (2) the implementation of the new electronic logging devises (ELD) forcing 2 drivers, (3) the overall shortage of drivers moving to construction for better pay as construction demands from natural disasters has spiked and (4) expansion of USA manufacturing production.

It’s difficult to put a timeline on when regular demand will return at this point. Markets will be stubborn to rebound without a significant restoration of consumer confidence, a warming trend in the East, and an easing in the freight market.

The repercussions of premature harvest and field “walk-bys” are likely to result in major shortages at the tail of the desert season. Broccoli and Cauliflower will be the first to see a market change. Holes in supply will translate to a swift upswing in market values for these crops. Lettuce and leafy greens will follow in the weeks thereafter, likely in proximity to the transition northward.

Did You Know?

Tanimura & Antle uses cover crops for green manuring to improve soil health, control diseases, pests and weeds.

Cover crops including, mustards, alfalfa, rye grass, barley and more are grown during the off-season on Tanimura & Antle’s farms. The cover crops help reduce soil erosion, improve soil fertility by adding organic matter, improve water retention and add nutrition by fixing nitrogen. Cover crops often compete well with weeds and prevent the weeds from completing their life cycle and reproducing further. They also help to break disease cycles and reduce the population of pests. Lastly, utilizing cover crops reduces surface crusting, breaks hardpan, protects the soil from rain run-off, and helps to maintain sustainable agriculture production.

Our Community of People: 

Daniel Rubio, Administrative Logistics Coordinator

Daniel, aka “Rubio” has been with our company for 35 years.  Daniel started with Tanimura & Antle in 1983 with a position in our harvest department and later worked in the carton yard.  After an accident, the Tanimura and Antle family members offered him a new position as a Logistics Coordinator.

Daniel is most commonly known as being appreciative of his fellow employee owners and is always eager to help anyone in need.  He believes that each individual possesses unique qualities which from we can all learn to enhance our skills.  Daniel loves his job and all of his responsibilities.  He takes pride in his work, is the perfect model of leadership and believes respect and loyalty make any workday enjoyable.

In 2011, Daniel received Tanimura & Antle’s Samuel Carrillo Award. This award honors an employee each year who is productive, confident, compassionate, and a team player.  Throughout the years, Daniel has been the epitome and model of the qualities we strive to build in our company culture.  “The owners have demonstrated with each day that passes that every employee is important to them. I recommend to every one of my co-workers that they continue to give their best effort at work because there is no other company that can replace the love and respect that the owners have for each of us”.