Saying Goodbye to Jason Petersen

Jason Petersen started out at Watsonville Coast Produce when he was in High School, washing delivery trucks and doing odd jobs.

Jason proved to be a great employee, starting from the bottom and moving up through the ranks at WCPI. Eventually he became one of our top buyers and had a successful career spanning over 27 years.

This past month, Jason and his wife moved out of state to embark on a new chapter. We will miss Jason very much, but wish he and his wife the best of luck.

Jason, thank you for your dedication and hard work over the years! You will always be a part of the Watsonville Coast Produce family.



Weather and crop update

The previous month's adversely unstable weather conditions in the Yuma growing region, is still causing quality and supply problems.  The unusual weather has created industry wide supply shortages on multiple items including: broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro, and romaine hearts.

In Salinas, the extremely wet and cold weather has impacted the planting season, January/February.  Growers are attempting to bring product forward as much as possible to mitigate the potential supply gap, but this has been extremely challenging with temperatures ranging from the mid 50's to the low 60's.  This is compounded by January and February being the wettest months on record. 

In the next 5 weeks, we will be seeing shortages on both conventional and organic product, including: spring mix, baby spinach, wild arugula, baby kale, strawberries, retail salads, all leaf lettuce (red, green, romaine) and romaine hearts.

Please plan ahead for this situation.  This will have an impact on price.

More rain in the forecast for Tuesday 3/2, Wednesday 3/22, and Thursday 3/23 in the Salinas Valley.

Coming into the local growing season

Heading into the local growing season

Navels- season winding down. Navels and late varieties will go mid to late may.
Valencias have started and we will see a smooth transition.
Lemons- expect California to be limited for the next 6 weeks or so. Transition to district 3 (down to the desert). Mexico will come in and easy the pressure on California production.
Strawberries- in full swing out of Pajaro and Salinas Valley. Size and sugar has been excellent.
Blueberries- Due to cool weather in Bakersfield it has been a slow start to the California season.
Expect increasing volume and lower prices over the next few weeks.
Raspberries and blackberries- Quality has been good on both out of Mexico.
Raspberries have been short. Picking in Watsonville will start in May.
Tons of blossoms on the vines locally on both.
Cantaloupe and Honeydew- out of South America will start winding down.
California desert and Arizona will be ready to step in and fill the gap mid May.

Bananas- more fruit will be available, so prices are expected to go down.

Yukon, white, and red potatoes- all grown in Bakersfield

Cauliflower – supplies continue to increase. Quality overall is descent to good.

Celery – Quotes are higher with lighter supplies. Quality overall is OK.

Spinach – Limited but supplies are improving.

Brussel sprouts – Remain very limited and will be extremely high on anything that is available. No relief on either availability or quality until we move to new growing districts in Mexico.

Asparagus – Higher as the Mexican production winds down, leaving us limited supplies of domestic grass from CA or WA.

Hass Avocado- 60ct is the best deal through Cinco de Mayo, the larger fruit will be as much as double the price.

Tomato- Roma are great quality and price.  5x5 is also a great buy.  4x5 are more expensive.

California is starting up on Corn, Bell Peppers, Fava Beans, Bluelake Beans, English Peas and Egg Plant.

Mangoes are still high.  Price should be coming down with better quality soon.

Limes are still tight with high price.

We are the $100,000 warehouse automation winner!

I'm sure you've all heard by now that we are the winner of a $100,000 warehouse automation.  We are so excited to get started!  It's only been a short time,  but so far working with the five companies that put the promotion on has been great!  They are:

  • Printronix
  • Datalogic
  • BarTender
  • AccuSpeech Mobile
  • FoxFire

At this point, we are teaching them our process and they're going to put the automation plan together.  We had a few people ask if anyone would be out of a job due to the automation and to answer that question, "No."  The automation will eliminate the small amount of human error we have, it'll make the staff more efficient, and will help improve the turn around time for recalls.  It's a win win for the staff, our company and our customers!

The sponsoring companies with Gary and Erica Manfre.

The sponsoring companies with Gary and Erica Manfre.