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Market Disruptions and Price Increases

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Historically December and January see disruptions in organic markets due to various factors such as frosts, winter storms, less daylight hours and holidays.  2021 continued to bring even more challenges with Covid-19. Unfortunately, many workers have been hit hard by Covid-19 with many packing sheds having challenges. Consequently, field laborers and trucking companies are experiencing challenges due to the lack of workers, tightening up an already challenged labor force. Trucking issues have caused numerous challenges around the holidays and beyond. Covid-19 has thinned the volume of available trucks leading to loads that do not have a way to get to us, limiting supply on many items. Imports are limited as well, mostly due to extreme backups in the Southern California ports.

Frost on Lakeside Organic Lettuce Holtville, California

Prices and availability are the most unstable often in these months. One thing to remember is that most of the US is pulling produce from the same area that we do at this point in the season.  Demand is great – supply isn’t. Price and quality do not track side by side. Often higher prices reflect difficult growing conditions and veg has more cosmetic challenges than we are used to. Prices are also increasing as growers struggle with trucking shortages and higher gas prices, labor shortages and wage increases, higher material prices on pallets, boxes and packaging materials, shipping delays due to labor shortages and extreme weather challenges.

We feel immense gratitude for our resilient growers who keep their workers safe while continuing to harvest and ship quality organic produce to sustain our communities during these adverse conditions. 


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