Posts Tagged “Florida vegetable shipments”

Lipman Expands Investment in Operations; Acquires Chapman Fruit

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IMMOKALEE, FL – Lipman Family Farms is proud to announce significant investments in vegetable production that will revolutionize their operations and bolster the quality and output of their products. 

In a dynamic industry landscape where consumer preferences continually evolve, Lipman Family Farms remains steadfast in its commitment to meeting the ever-changing demands and increasing consumption of fresh vegetables.

“We recognize when it’s time to invest into more resources so that our team can meet the needs of our customers and consumers alike,” Elyse Lipman, CEO of Lipman Family Farms stated. “With these investments, we will be able to meet consumer demands, enhance our operations, and enforce our position as a reliable partner in the industry.”

The key investments made by Lipman Family Farms include:

Increased Vegetable Acreage in Florida: Lipman has significantly expanded its vegetable and watermelon acreage in Florida, ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality vegetables year-round. This expansion enhances their ability to meet consumer demands for fresh produce, no matter the season.

Acquisition of Chapman Fruit Co.: Lipman Family Farms has purchased Chapman Fruit Co., a reputable vegetable packer in Southwest Florida. This strategic move creates additional capacity to accommodate the growing volume of vegetables produced by Lipman in the region, ultimately increasing cooling and packing capabilities to ensure the freshest produce reaches consumers.

Located in Immokalee, Florida, this acquisition provides a 65,000 square-foot packing facility that is conveniently situated near Lipman’s farms in Southwest Florida, allowing for short and efficient local transit. The facility is equipped to handle and store the increased volume of watermelon and vegetables produced by Lipman.

12-Lane AWETA Pepper Packing Machine: Lipman Family Farms has invested in a cutting-edge 12-lane AWETA machine for packing peppers in Florida. This machine expands the vegetable packing capabilities at Lipman’s existing facilities and significantly improves automation efficiencies. It can sort and pack approximately 5,200 cases of peppers per hour and offers various packing capabilities, including DRCs, PLU labeling, and bagging.

“The acquisition of Chapman Produce and the implementation of cutting-edge equipment, such as the AWETA machine, allow us to continue to streamline our operations and improve efficiency,” said Toby Purse, Chief Operating Officer of Lipman Family Farms. “These investments allow us to continue to enhance our operations, become more efficient, and deliver the same quality to our retailers and consumers alike.”

“With the new investments in acreage, equipment and facilities, our team can continue to meet our standard for producing and delivering quality fruits and vegetables,” Purse added. 

Lipman Family Farms is excited to embark on this new phase of growth and innovation, as they continue to meet the evolving needs of their consumers.

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Florida Spring Vegetable Volume Building Towards April Peak

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Similar to many areas of the country cooler weather has slowed production of Florida spring vegetables, but growers and shippers remain optimistic it will be a good shipping season as we head toward April and peak loadings.

While spring produce items got off to a slower start than usual, grower/shippers see volume increasing rapidly, with excellent quickly.

West Coast Tomato LLC of Palmetto, FL has round and roma tomatoes in the Manatee County area of central Florida.

New Limeco of Homestead, FL is shipping Florida carambola — or star fruit — which will continue until May. The company also ships dragon fruit, passion fruit, Florida mangoes, Florida red guava and Thai guava for other growers and carries limes imported from Mexico, Colombia or Honduras year-round.

Pioneer Growers Co-op of Belle Glade, FL, has spring corn as well as cabbage, radishes, beans and leaf items.

Branch: A Family of Farms in South Bay, FL sweet corn and green beans this spring. The company was harvesting corn in Homestead in February and started sourcing from Belle Glade again after mid-March. It expects to be back to normal spring volume by mid-April. Corn shipments should continue until Memorial Day.

The company’s big push on cabbage was for St. Patrick’s Day, but supplies will continue until mid-April.

Radishes will last through spring, and the company should have green beans through early May along with leaf items like escarole, red and green leaf lettuce, romaine, cilantro and parsley.

Dundee Citrus Growers Association, Dundee, FL, is shipping valencia oranges through May, peaches from late March through early May and blueberries from mid-March through early May.

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Lipman Family Farms Increases Vegetable Production in Florida

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An additional 1,400 acres of winter vegetables has been added by Lipman Family Farms of Immokalee, FL.

“This expansion of acreage compliments our spring, summer, and fall seasons by providing secure volumes of fresh veg year-round,” David Ackers, manager of procurement and sales, said in a press release. “This expansion allows us to leverage our supply network, distribution lanes and expanded packing capabilities in the east. Our goal is to be a one-stop-shop for our customers and provide a steady and controlled supply.”

The additional volume of winter vegetable production will complement Lipman’s existing relationships with local growers across the East coast, according to the release. The long-term partnerships include the largest bell pepper and cucumber growers in North Carolina, as well as one of the largest dry vegetable growers in New Jersey.

Lipman will focus on harvesting peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, and chili peppers, among other items, beginning in late October, the company said. 
Additionally, Lipman continues to upgrade its packing facilities to fit growing volume and continued customization with quick turnaround and shortened shipping time. 

Product is picked and packed on the same day, the company said. After harvest, the product is funneled through their state-of-the-art packing facilities in Florida, offering the ability to deliver both bulk and specialty packs in full truckloads and partial truckload volume to their customer base on the East Coast.

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Florida Spring Produce Shipments Peak in April and May

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Florida ships a nation-leading one-third of the country’s fresh market tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, over 20 percent of the fresh market sweet corn and snaps beans, as well as more than 12 percent of the squash, and over 10 percent of the fresh market cabbage, according to USDA.

Springtime mean the heaviest volume for Florida with loadings of bell pepper, squash, cucumbers, chili peppers, watermelons, cantaloupes, cabbage, broccoli, greens, new crop fresh potatoes and a number of other items. 

L & M Companies of Raleigh, N.C. has a strong presence in Palatka, FL, and the ships broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, greens, squash, onions, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes.

Florida is also a primary supplier of Spring vegetables to the major centers of the Eastern Seaboard and Midwest and sometimes as far west as Texas and the Rockies.

Mack Farms of Lake Wales, FL ships the first new crop of potatoes available in early in February and points out other potato produce regions as still shipping storage spuds from last fall.

Mack Farms was among the pioneer growers of seedless watermelons more than 50 years ago, before turning his small acreage in Alabama into the 3,500-acre Lake Wales flagship fields for the growing operation.

The company currently concentrates on early-season potatoes and watermelons grown in four states.

“We grow yellow, red, white and fingerling potatoes,” says Leger. “The potato program has stayed the same since I came here in 2012, and the company has been here since 1967.”

Mack’s Florida vegetable shipments starting in March includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, radishes, greens, beans, spinach, squash, corn and tomatoes.

All of those except broccoli are available in April, when carrots are added to the mix.

During the Spring months, Duda Farms Fresh Foods of Belle Glade, FL is shipping corn, celery, organic celery, cello radishes, value-added radishes, Romaine, Romaine hearts, cello lettuce, green leaf, red leaf, endive, and escarole. All product is grown, packed and shipped out of the Belle Glade Farm.

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Florida Spring Vegetable Shipments Gearing Up in April

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Strong Florida produce shipments this spring are expected due to favorable growing conditions.

Tomatoes, strawberries and cabbage were the Florida commodities with the highest volume during the week of Feb. 16, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Increases in vegetable shipments started in mid February for items such as
avocados, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, bell peppers, other peppers, radishes, squash, strawberries and round tomatoes.

These products were joining others that already had good volume. At that time Florida accounted for 37 percent of U.S. tomatoes shipments with 49 percent for strawberries and 39 percent of cabbage.

West Coast Tomato Shippers LLC of Palmetto, FL was having an excellent season in recent months due to fewer plants by other Florida growers, plus Mexican tomato volume also was down. The company will be shipping tomatoes into early June.

Astin Strawberry Exchange LLC of Plant City, FL is just finishing its strawberry season and now has blueberries, which will be shipped through May.

Utopia Packing LLC, a division of Utopia Farms, Myakka City, Fla., will get into its main volume with cucumbers and bell peppers in April.

Seald Sweet International of Vero Beach, FL is shipping fresh valencia oranges through May and then ship out of storage through June.

Brooks Tropicals Inc. of Homestead, FL is in a seasonal lull as the
company’s Florida-grown Slimcado tropical avocados were winding down, with summer shipments set to start in June. Dragon fruit also will be available in June and passion fruit in July.

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Florida Spring Vegetable Shipments are Right on Track

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April and May tend to be the peak shipping months for Florida spring vegetables and favorable growing conditions are expected to provide a good shipping season.

For example, West Coast Tomato LLC of Palmetto is expressing optimism as its volume has been ahead of last year. It has about 3,000 acres in the Immokalee and Palmetto areas and has been shipping tomatoes since October and will complete shipments in early June.

Florida Vegetable Shipments

Duda Fresh Foods Inc. of Oviedo, which grows vegetables on 6,000 acres in the Belle Glade area, reports good weather and plenty of water supplies and has been shipping celery since December and will continue through April.

Scotlynn Sweet Pac Growers LLC of Belle Glade grows and ships corn and other vegetables reports similar good growing conditions. It began shipping in early March and reached good volume in early April that should continue through May. The company ships primarily sweet corn to start, but later in the season has radishes, beans and cabbage, among other items.

At Weis-Buy Farms Inc. of Fort Myers, ships tomatoes and peppers, with a season starting in early October and continuing until June 1st.

Overall Florida vegetable volume is ahead of last year, in part because of favorable weather without hurricanes, unlike a year ago.

L&M Cos is based in Raleigh, NC, but has offices in Palatka, FL. The company reports Northern Florida has had some weather issues causing some vegetable crop to be running late, particularly with cabbage, broccoli and greens.

Mack Farms Inc. of Lake Wales began digging potatoes in early February from about 1,600 acres and has had good volume.

Jones Potato Farm of Parrish reports good shipments of potatoes, and green beans after starting in late March.

Utopia Packing LLC of Myakka City has good volume with bell peppers and cucumbers.

Florida Specialties Inc. of Immokalee shipping
green beans, eggplant, bell peppers, squash and specialty peppers through May.

Florida Fruit Shipments

Wish Farms of Plant City plans to be shipping blueberries until Memorial Day, with Florida growers expecting to pack nearly 4 million pounds of “blues” this season. This would be an increase from 3.4 million pounds a year ago.

Florida Classic Growers, which markets product for the Dundee (FL) Citrus Growers Association is planning to ship valences through May.

Florida Watermelon Shipments

Southern Corporate Packers Inc. of Immokalee is shipping watermelons from Southern Florida through May, with loadings coming out of Northern Florida from late May though June.

The company also grows watermelon in Georgia, Missouri, Indiana and Delaware, which enables the company to have melons available through December.

McMelon Inc., a subsidiary of Mack Farms Inc., both of Lake Wales will start shipping watermelons in early May.

Florida vegetables, watermelons and potatoes – grossing about $2700 to New York City.


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Shipping Outlooks: Hurricane Damaged FL; ID Spuds, WA Apples and Imported Mangoes

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DSCN0043Here’s a shipping outlook for different areas and commodities ranging from Florida after Hurricane Irma, to Idaho potatoes, Washington apples and imported mangoes.

Florida’s projected 75 million-box orange crop may have been slashed by 40 percent or more due to Hurricane Irma, depending on where the groves are located.  Heavy losses are also are expected with grapefruit and other items.

This is the off season for many Florida vegetable shipments, but products such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and strawberries in South Florida took a big hit and replantings will result in shipments being at least a month or two if not more later than normal.

Idaho Potato Shipments

Idaho potato shipments from the season that recently ended was 12 percent over that of two years ago.  The diggings for the current crop are underway off of  308,000 acres, which is 15,000 acres less than last year.  However, Idaho will still have plenty of potatoes to haul.

Idaho potatoes – grossing about $3000 to Chicago.

Apple Shipments

Red delicious will soon lose its status as the volume leader in the Washington apple industry as the variety will amount to 25 percent of the 2017-18 crop, off about 5 percent from recent years.

Gala apples should account for 23 percent of the new crop, and is on track to surpass red delicious this season or next.  Red Delicious popularity has declined because of a number of new varieties that are considered to taste better.  Growers have been planting proprietary varieties or improved versions of varieties such as gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Cosmic Crisp.

Over 600,000 Honey Crisp trees were planted this year, and about 5.5 million more will go in the ground next year.  A significant reason for more Honey Crisp planting is it has a harvest window very similar to that of the Red Delicious.

Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $6600 to New York City.

Mango Imports

As Mexican mango imports seasonally decline the slack its being picked up by imports from Brazil.  Brazil’s season is expected to continue through November with a projection of approximately 8.2 million boxes  Peak imports are expected mid-September to mid-October.

As Brazilian imports wind down, imports will be available from Ecuador followed by Peru, which will take production into the new year with the return to volume from Mexico coming in March.

Mexican mangoes through Nogales – grossing about $4000 to Chicago.



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Volume Florida Spring Produce Shipments are Just Around the Corner

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SweetCorn+1If great spring weather for growing vegetables, combined with optimism by Florida shippers mean anything, this should be one of the better years in a while for hauling produce from the Sunshine state.

Dozens of mixed vegetables are now being shipped, or will soon get underway.  Similar to the strawberry crop that got an early start this season from the Plant City area (and is now finished), one would think Florida vegetable shipments would follow a similar path of earlier than usual volume.

April and May are typically the heaviest volume months, so we’ll see.  The biggest movers currently are mature green, plum and grape tomatoes averaging over 350 truck loads a week.  Other leading items are cabbage, sweet corn, potatoes (red, white and yellow), bell peppers  and green beans.  Very light volume is with numerous veggies ranging from cucumbers to lettuce, radish, and celery to eggplant.

Keep in mind, Florida isn’t Mexico or California when it comes to volume.  There’s a reason so many multiple pick ups and drops are associated with hauling produce out of Florida.

Spring watermelons are heavy volume in season, but the first melons from Florida will not start until around the middle of April from the Immokalee area.  In fact, most loadings of Florida produce for the next several weeks will occur in Southern and Central areas of the state.

Another significant item is Florida blueberry shipments, which have been increasing in volume in recent years.  “Blues” will be starting in April.

Although Florida doesn’t compare to South Carolina, Georgia, or certainly not California, it does ship peaches as far north as Canada and across the Mississippi River.  Operations such as Florida Sweet Peaches in Arcadia and Florida Classic Growers in Dundee have been expanding.  Peach shipments should get underway in late March and continue through April and possibly early May.

Florida vegetable shipments – grossing about $2400 to Philadelphia.

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California Rains Hit Produce Shipments; Florida Shipping Update

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DSCN8999Everyone is aware of the five-year drought in California.  While the drought may not be officially over, those rains are reducing produce shipments on some items and will have an effect of loadings heading into spring.

California strawberry shipments have been hit hardest by the rains, while citrus loadings have also been affected, but not as much.

The rains post phoned the strawberry harvest along the Central and Southern Coast areas of Santa Maria and Oxnard, due to waterlogged fields  A significant amount of strawberries were damaged and had to be dumped or sent to the processors.

The good news is more spring like weather is expected for the next 10 days or so.

There is a big bloom in California strawberries in Santa Maria and Oxnard, which should result in good shipments within a few weeks.  At Watsonville, the heaviest production area for strawberries, the new season likely will be delayed to the end of March or early April, a couple of weeks later than last year.

Both Florida and Mexico are at the end of their strawberry season, but trying to extend shipments later than normal to help cover the losses in California volume.  Caution is urged loading strawberries from any of these three areas as high market prices resulting from low volume sometimes tempt shippers to load product they normally would not otherwise send to the fresh market.  Just make sure the receiver of this fruit knows what they are getting.

Ventura County strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $3300 to Dallas.

Florida Produce Shipments

The Plant City area of Florida is shipping over 600 truck loads of strawberries a week, but as mentioned in the previous paragraph, watch for late season quality issues….Likewise, the light Mexcian strawberry volume is mostly crossing the border in South Texas and averaging about 125 truck loads as its season in winding down.

Back in Florida, perhaps the heaviest shipments are occurring with tomatoes with over 600 truckloads being shipped weekly.  Other leading items such as cabbage and grapefruit have much smaller volume.  Florida vegetable shipments in general will be increasing as we get further into March.

Florida tomatoes, and vegetables – grossing about $2600 to New York City.



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Florida Strawberry, Veggie Shipments Good – for this Time of Year

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dscn8613Florida strawberries and tomatoes are leading produce shipments from the Sunshine state this month.

Florida has over 11,000 acres of strawberries are grown in the Plant City area each year, with Hillsborough County shipping about 15 percent of the nation’s strawberries and virtually all the berries grown during the winter.

Since late spring, the weather was good and the state has been leading the nation in strawberry shipments now for a number of weeks.  Although small compared to California’s total strawberry shipments, Florida ships about 20 million flats each year.

Florida is loading about 1,000 truck loads of strawberries per week.

Florida Vegetable Shipments

Unlike some winters, Florida growing conditions also have generally been favorable for vegetables, leading to fairly stable shipments from week to week.   Mature greens provide Florida’s heaviest tomato volume, with much less amounts coming from plum and grape tomatoes.  However, if you add the three types of tomatoes together, they are averaging about the same amount of volume as Florida strawberries.

However, a major difference between hauling strawberries and tomatoes relates to geography.  Florida’s strawberry shipments are concentrated in a relatively small growing area just west of Tampa.  By contrast, Florida tomato shipments are spread throughout much of the state, with some areas being more active depending on the season.

At the same time, Florida also is shipping a number of other winter vegetables.  However, volume with Florida vegetable shipments are much lighter this time of the year.  While Florida may be shipping around 1,000 truckloads of mature green, plum and grape tomatoes each week, the next closest item is bell peppers, averaging only 250 truck loads weekly.  Other leading Florida vegetables range from cabbage, to sweet corn, cucumbers, and beans, but the volume this time of year is only 50 percent or less that of bell peppers.

This will remain so until the last half of March, or April, depending upon weather conditions.  All of this means mixed loads and only partial loads for the most part in the winter.  Even during the heaviest Florida produce shipping season in the spring, multiple picks and drops are very common.

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