News and Stories

UPDATE: California Strawberries

October 22, 2015

Markon First Crop Strawberries are not available; Markon Best Available and packer label are being substituted. Markets continue to climb; demand exceeds supply. Overall volume is down considerably as California’s summer crop is ending and the fall harvest is starting slowly. Expect very limited supplies this fall.

  • Very few stocks are on the market as the Salinas/Watsonville summer crop comes to an end and the Santa Maria/Oxnard fall crop is producing low yields
  • Growers are not packing strawberries every day because they are planting next year’s spring crop
    • Limited labor requires growers to utilize the same crews for planting as they do for harvesting
    • Over the next two weeks, growers will skip harvesting days in order to get the next spring crop plants in the ground
    • Availability will be tight during this time; supplies should increase in a few weeks when full-time harvesting resumes
  • Persistent quality issues are shortening shelf-life, including:
    • Bruising/bleeding
    • Light decay
    • Occasional mildew
    • Over ripeness
    • Soft texture
  • Stemmed strawberries are not available; organics are very limited
  • Markon recommends ordering for quick turns, loading FOB, and maintaining the cold chain to maximize shelf-life


Fall/Winter Outlook

With a high probability of a wet winter from El Nino, strawberry supplies on the West Coast will be heavily impacted. Many growers will rely on volume from Central Mexico to meet demand once the season is in full swing (mid-November), as well as Florida supplies in December. Markon is anticipating quality challenges, steep prices, and limited supplies on the West Coast until the industry receives relief from these other growing regions in the winter.


Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


©2015 Markon Cooperative, Inc. All rights reserved.