News and Stories

UPDATE: Strawberries

January 05, 2016


Wet weather patterns forecast for Southern California will further tighten West Coast strawberry supplies this week. Cold weather and rain have put the market into a demand-exceeds-supply situation. Rain and freezing temperatures have stalled plant and berry growth. Mexican-sourced strawberries are being shipped into California to help fill orders for members who must load in California. Availability is better in Florida and Mexico (into South Texas).


Oxnard, California 

  • Markon First Crop and Markon Best Available Strawberries are not available; packer label supplies in one-pound clamshells are being substituted
  • Most suppliers packed product ahead of schedule to ensure early week orders are covered
  • Crews are harvesting as much as possible this week, depending on when and how much rain arrives
  • Current quality is good, but will be heavily impacted by the wet weather conditions
    • Bleeding, minor bruising, uneven size/shape, white shoulders, and wind damage are problems
    • Supplies are dominated by small- and medium-size berries; counts range from 23 to 30 berries per 1-pound clamshell
    • Decay and water damage will become issues following the rain; Markon recommends ordering for quick turns and loading FOB
  • Loading delays can be expected throughout the week
  • Some suppliers will bring Mexican product into California to help fill orders this week
  • The market is slightly higher than last week; expect tight stocks and elevated prices through January

Mexico (into South Texas)

  • Growers in Mexico are harvesting two to three times as many cases per day than California growers
  • Strong East Coast demand is keeping volume low and prices firm
  • Weather has been favorable; fruit shipments have been crossing daily
  • Quality is good
    • Texture is firm
    • Size is slightly smaller than in Oxnard
    • Counts range from 25 to 30 berries per 1-pound clamshell
  • Most suppliers will only ship half or full pallet quantities of 1-pound clamshells (108 cases per pallet); no 4-pound packs are available at this time
  • The market is steady to slightly higher than last week


  • Growers continue to be challenged by bruising and small size due to above-average temperatures
  • Shelf-life is a concern; many growers are only shipping on the East Coast
    • Problems include bleeding, bruising, decay, odd shape, overripe fruit, and small size
    • The crop is dominated by small to medium sizes
    • Counts average 26 to 36 berries per 1-pound clamshell with a few lots as high as 50
  • Expect volume to increase and quality to improve through January; cooler temperatures are in the forecast
  • The market is slightly higher than last week

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


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