Posts Tagged “melon shipments”

Ayco Farms and Fisher Ranch Join Forces to Ship Melons Year-Round

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Ayco Farms and Fisher Ranch, prominent players in the seasonal melon industry, have recently announced a significant collaboration. The alliance is aimed at supplying a year-round assortment of melons, including cantaloupe, honeydew, along with various mixed melons. Targeting retail, food service, and fresh-cut segments, this alliance guarantees their clientele a steady provision of premium-quality melons.

Ayco, with a home office in Pompano Beach, FL, is a multinational, premier supplier of various offshore fruits and vegetables, including cantaloupes, watermelons, honeydews, pineapples, and asparagus, operates extensively across Central and South America and Mexico. Fisher Ranch of Blythe, CA supplies melons throughout North America and is renowned for producing sweet, flavorful vine-ripe melons. Fisher Ranch operates in Arizona and California, bringing domestic operational support and more than 6 decades of expertise and dedication to the industry.

Bart Fisher, principal shareholder of Fisher Ranch, highlighted the synergistic potential of this initiative with Ayco. “This alliance is a natural progression for Fisher and our growth strategy. We bring a combined legacy of quality, innovation, and customer-focused operations. This new venture is more than just a business arrangement; it’s a commitment to excellence.”

“The creation of this program with Fisher Ranch marks a significant milestone for Ayco,” said Avi Nir, CEO and President of Ayco. “It represents our promise to provide our customers with top-quality melons all year round. We’re excited about the opportunities for this alliance and the benefits it will offer our customers.”

Both Ayco and Fisher Ranch are renowned for their stringent control over every stage of their operations, from cultivation and harvesting to packaging, quality control, and distribution. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that only the finest melons reach their customers.

Ayco will transition to Fisher Ranch with melon production in AZ and California beginning from late May and continuing through October. The collaboration will leverage Guatemalan melons from November to June, guaranteeing a year-round supply.

For additional information, please contact Fisher Ranch at and Ayco Farms at

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Pacific Trellis Fruit Announces Sourcing Expansion

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Los Angeles, CA – Pacific Trellis Fruit, LLC. dba Dulcinea Farms, the owner of the Dulcinea® brand, announced that after several years of successful production trials, they will be expanding the sourcing of their PureHeart® Mini Seedless Watermelon from Guatemala beginning in January 2024 and extending into April.

Product shipped will arrive via the West Coast Port Hueneme, California, as well as to the East Coast, through Port Everglades, Florida.

“We are extremely excited about this development as it will expand our ability to deliver Dulcinea PureHeart mini watermelons 52 weeks per year, “explained Rob Markel, VP of Sales – Melons at Pacific Trellis Fruit. “At this time, we are also growing the melons in both Los Mochis and Colima, Mexico, and the fruit to market ships through Nogales, AZ.”

“In addition, the watermelon from Guatemala is currently undergoing Fair Trade Certification, which is a rigorous and globally recognized sustainable sourcing model that improves livelihoods, protects the environment, and builds resilient, transparent supply chains” added Markel.


About Pacific Trellis Fruit 

Pacific Trellis Fruit® is one of North America’s top year-round importers, growers, and marketers of premium fresh fruit, including melons, grapes, stonefruit, cherries and citrus. In 2014, Dulcinea® was acquired by Pacific Trellis Fruit and became their consumer-facing brand. Dulcinea is the pioneer of the PureHeart® personal seedless watermelon, the Tuscan-Style® cantaloupe and SunnyGold® yellow mini seedless watermelon. Pacific Trellis Fruit also features Kiss Melons, a line of high quality, great tasting melons. Pacific Trellis’ corporate headquarters is in Los Angeles, CA, with sales offices in Fresno, CA, Gloucester, NJ, and Tucson, AZ.

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Morning Kiss Organic will be Shipping Melons the Rest of the Year

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Chelsea, MA – Morning Kiss Organic is bringing back a summer classic! Shipping from Mexico and California, organic mini watermelons, organic cantaloupes, and organic honey dew melons are now available from Morning Kiss organic.

Morning Kiss Organic will offer organic melons through December and offers just-in-time inventory management to  reduce loss to product spoilage. Melons can be banded with organic tape upon request to guarantee the organic sale at checkout.

“Get ready to savor the taste of summer,” says Nelly Czajkowski of Morning Kiss Organic. “Organic melons are a great addition to the summer retail set and a fantastic way to boost organic category sales. We’ve seen a major increase in demand for organic melons and our growers have done an excellent job expanding the category.”  

New this season, Morning Kiss Organic will be offering a new label option which includes a scannable UPC to guarantee the organic sale a check out. The labels feature Morning Kiss Organic’s new logo and are designed to stay adhered to the fruit despite temperature differentials. “With self checkout on the rise we wanted to provide our customers with a scannable option so they can trust they will get the organic sale,” says Czajkowski.

About Morning Kiss Organic
Morning Kiss Organic is the organic brand of Gold Bell, DiSilva Fruit and Arrowfarms. Headquartered in Massachusetts, Morning Kiss Organic products are available year round in a range of customizable formats, packed to order. Unique packaging options offer economical packaging, pricing, faster turns and less waste. Always fresh, the company uses just in time inventory management as well as daily deliveries to ensure the highest quality, best tasting selection available. Natural and healthy, Morning Kiss products are always non-GMO. Morning Kiss Organic is committed to sourcing from East Coast farmers whenever possible, and delivers daily to stores and distribution centers.

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Nogales Shipper in Full Swing Now with Mexican Melon Loadings

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Nogales, AZ – The spring season and warmer weather is upon us, and for Divine Flavor, the grower, shipper will be in full swing with its melon program for the next 7 weeks. With watermelon (regular seedless and mini seedless), cantaloupe, and honey dew, grown both organic and conventional, the company anticipates a strong month of May with volume for their expanded melon program in Mexico.

Divine Flavor’s melon program, which is based in the northern state of Sonora on the outskirts of Hermosillo, normally starts around the first weeks of April but the season was delayed this year by a few weeks due to cooler weather in the late winter. Although the programs were pushed slightly, the company anticipates rebounding quickly for a strong month of May.

Elizabeth Smart, Melon Category Manager for Divine Flavor shares the importance this season will need to continue availability and dependability throughout the next month. “The season started now, and quality looks good and promising,” said Smart.

“We’ve added to all sides of our melon deal expanding our organic and conventional melon commodities which will be essential for breaking new ground with our customers and their needs. Each season we continue to grow with this commodity, and this adds to our ability to be a dependable source of quality melons of each variety all in one shot.”

Shipping continues until mid June.

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Roundup of Melon Shipments Reveals Late Start for Several Areas

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Melon shipments in the U.S., as well as from Mexico and Central America got off to a slightly later start than usual this spring in many, but growers are reporting good quality.

Sol Group Marketing Co. of Pompano Beach, FL has peak loadings from November through mid-May. The company sources cantaloupes, honeydews, personal-size watermelons and seedless watermelons from Central America.

Stella Farms LLC of Scottsdale, AZ wrapped up its southern Mexico watermelon season in early April and now is launching it season from Guaymas, Mexico. Hermosillo, Mexico starts in late April, about 10 days later than usual, due to cool, wet weather.

Melons from Sonora, Mexico will cross through Nogales, AZ., and be distributed throughout the western U.S. Acreage in Sonora will be down from last year, so there will be less production in April and May.

Stella Farms will ship out of Florida until mid-June. About 90% of the company’s watermelons are seedless.

Weather in Florida has been warmer than normal, so the harvest started earlier than usual.

Stella Farm expect good watermelon shipments from Florida throughout.

Green Life Farms LLC of Indio CA will have good volume of Mexican seeded and seedless watermelons, which will be similar to last year.

The company, which typically starts its spring season the first or second week of May, won’t get started until about May 20 this year, because of unfavorable conditions in Mexico.

Grower/shipper Dixondale Farms of Carrizo Springs, TX got off to a poor start this season when it lost its first 100 acres to a hailstorm in mid March.

That will delay the start until June 10. Harvest usually begins right before Memorial Day.

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Fresh Del Monte is Shipping Melons to U.S. Ports for Nationwide Distribution

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Miami, FL – Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., one of the world’s leading vertically integrated producers, distributors and marketers of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, is currently harvesting a variety of melons including cantaloupe, honeydew, specialty Harper and Tara melons and watermelon just in time for prime melon season. Once harvested, the produce giant ships the melons using its six recently purchased energy-efficient container vessels, which will help streamline delivery amid the global supply chain issues.

“At Fresh Del Monte, we will not let global supply chain issues stand in the way of delivering the freshest produce on the planet and this is especially true from our North American ports,” said Ana Cristina Fonseca, Vice President – Product Management (North America), Fresh Del Monte. “With melon season underway and supply chain shortages intensifying, Fresh Del Monte believes the use of our six additional container vessels has been invaluable in offering transportation solutions during these unprecedented times. We want to ensure customers receive the freshest products despite global shipping backlogs. As many produce authorities and retailers struggle to secure shipping container vessels to reduce product shortages, Fresh Del Monte’s container vessels have offered a helping hand to not only Fresh Del Monte, but to their competitors seeking help amidst the crisis.”

Fresh Del Monte continues to invest significant resources in research and development to expand the melon category and continuously offer products that meet consumer’s evolving needs. Since melons are grown in temperate locations and have a relatively short growing cycle, the brand can provide North American customers with not only in-season melons supplies, but year-round.

Fresh Del Monte has purchased six energy-efficient container vessels, which have offered a solution amidst supply chain issues. Used to help transport melons amongst other produce, the container vessels depart from ports in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Guatemala to help secure consistent service to customers and provide delivery to retailers at four ports in Manatee, Gloucester, Galveston and Hueneme across the United States. Given the perishable nature of fresh fruits and vegetables, each container vessel is air-cooled to maintain the cargo at specified temperatures, traveling in reefer mode with multiple temperature variants from -25C to 40C.

Fresh Del Monte melon varieties are shipped to select retailers nationwide.

Fresh Del Monte has been a market leader in growing and shipping premium quality fresh produce for several decades and a recognized authority in the fruit industry.


Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated producers, marketers and distributors of high-quality fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, as well as a leading producer and distributor of prepared food in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Fresh Del Monte markets its products worldwide under the DEL MONTE® brand (under license from Del Monte Foods, Inc.), a symbol of product innovation, quality, freshness and reliability for over 135 years. The Company also markets its products under the MANN™ brand and other related trademarks. Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. is not affiliated with certain other Del Monte companies around the world, including Del Monte Foods, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Del Monte Pacific Limited, Del Monte Canada, or Del Monte Asia Pte. Ltd. Fresh Del Monte is the first global marketer of fruits and vegetables to commit to the “Science Based Targets” initiative. Fresh Del Monte Produce is traded on the NYSE under the symbol FDP.


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Good Volume Fruit Shipments From California are Expected Through Summer

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More favorable weather for growing crops has California fruit shipments looking better than at this time last year.

At Anthony Vineyards of Bakersfield, it should start grape shipments from the Coachella Valley within in the next week, which will continue through June. The grape loadings will be shifting to the San Joaquin Valley, where the vast amount of California grape shipments originate. Another big crop exceeding 110 million boxes is expected.

Citrus Shipments

The California citrus industry has been disappointed overall, mainly due to weather factors. However, summer citrus shipments are now looking more favorable with late season valencias replacing navel oranges. Valencias should be available until the Fourth of July.

Grower/shipper Limoneira Co. of Santa Paula, believes California lemon loadings will be off 10 to 15 percent this year as the season ends this month.

Trinity Fruit Sales Co. In of Fresno notes the California mandarin crop is one of the state’s largest. As a result, product which normally winds down in April will be shipped through May. As the company’s domestic season comes to a close it will be importing mandarins for the first time from Peru, Chile and Uruguay,

Melon Shipments

Domestic melon shipments should be plentiful this season. Five Crowns Marketing of Brawley, CA has just started loadings of Origami cantalouple and will continue in the desert through June. The company’s Mexican watermelons are now moving in good volume, and continuing through May, before shifting to Arizona.

Westside Produce of Firebaugh, CA is now shipping cantaloupes and honeydews and will continue in good volume into October.

Stone Fruit Shipments

San Joaquin Valley stone fruit shipments are underway and Trinity Fruit of Fresno anticipates one of its biggest crops. Simonia Fruit Co. of Fowler, CA is expressing optimism for its peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots.

Berry Shipments

California berry shipments were down heading into Easter, however volume is shaping up well for strawberries, blackberries and raspberries from Watsonville and Santa Maria through the summer and well into the fall.

California blueberry shipments should be good through late spring before transitioning to Oregon and British Columbia during the summer months.

Stemilt Growers LLC of Wenatchee, WA just started its California cherry harvest. Last year, California produce only 4 million boxes, but a substantial increase is expected this season.

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Westside Melon Shipments Underway with Bigger Volume Expected

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DSCN0810The San Joaquin Valley’s Westside District appears on the verge of having good melon shipments this season for with improved water availability and favorable weather.  A significant increase in volume is expected over last year.

For example, Turlock Fruit Co. Inc. of Turlock, CA begins it initial  harvest of honeydew and cantaloupe this week.  The past several years there has been a lot of fallow ground in the area, but there will be less unused farm land this year.

Melon shipments continue from the deserts of California and Arizona and will be the primary supplier leading up to the Fourth of July, when volume will rapidly decline.  The transition between the desert and the Westside districts is expected to be smoother than a year ago, with no gap in supply anticipated.

Westside Produce Inc. of Firebaugh, CA  is just getting started, with volume expected to increase after Independence Day.

Last year California conventional cantaloupe shipments from the San Joaquin Valley totaled 14.82 million pound cartons, compared with 2.55 million cartons from the California’s Imperial Valley and 407,000 cartons from California’s Palo Verde Valley.

Those figures were off from 2016, when the USDA reported conventional shipments of California cantaloupe at 18.74 million cartons from the San Joaquin Valley, 4.09 million from California’s Imperial Valley, and 431,750 cartons from California’s Palo Verde Valley.

According to the USDA, conventional shipments of cantaloupe from the San Joaquin Valley in 2017 were 21 percent below 2016 levels and combined conventional cantaloupe shipments from all districts of 17.77 million cartons were off 24 percent from 23.26 million cartons in 2016.

By contrast, organic cantaloupe shipments showed mixed results in 2017, with San Joaquin Valley organic volume up in 2017 and Imperial Valley organic cantaloupe shipments down compared with 2016.

The USDA reported 2017 California organic cantaloupe shipments at 406,000 cartons from San Joaquin Valley, compared with 205,000 cartons from Imperial Valley.

Organic shipments in 2016 from San Joaquin Valley were rated at 396,500 cartons, compared with 337,500 cartons from Imperial Valley.

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Springtime Melon Shipments Look Promising in Different Areas of the U.S.

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A17We are well into springtime and that means melon shipments are underway, or soon will be from shipping areas across the country.  Decent volume is expected by at least some areas by the middle of May.  Here is a brief look at the plans of a few melon shippers located in different area of the U.S.


For example Five Crowns Marketing of Brawley, CA  plans to start shipping watermelons from the Imperial Valley about May 1st just as imported melons are wanning. It also will be shipping mini watermelons later in the season from Arizona.

Legend Produce Dos Palos, CA, located in the Merced area of the San Joaquin Valley, should start shipping within the next week as it transitions from importing melons from Guatemala and Honduras.

Likewise Pacific Trellis Fruit/Dulcinea Farms  of Los Angeles will begin cantaloupe shipments, as well as yellow personal watermelons from the Yuma, AZ area around the middle of May.

Del Mar Packing of Westley, CA. located about 15 miles southwest of Modesto, starts its melon season in early July.


Dixondale Farms of Carrizo Springs, TX, located about 115 miles Southwest of San Antonio, is the state’s largest grower and shippers of cantaloupes, with loadings to start in May.


Jackson Farming Co. is headquartered in Autryville, NC, but ships from several areas on the East Coast plans  It will kick off its seeded and seedless watermelon season with shipments out of Bradenton, FL the second week of May, and expects to have good volume leading up to Memorial Day.  Then the company will be shifting production to Leslie, GA., with peak volume plans for loadings leading up for the Fourth of July with seedless watermelons.  Jackson’s final stop of the season is the Autryville operation that ships watermelons, cantaloupes and honeydew melons through Labor Day.

The company plans to increase its North Carolina on seedless watermelon volume close 20 percent this season.

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Study:  Arizona is 2nd in Shipments of Leaf, Iceberg and Romaine Lettuce

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DSCN0306Although there are lettuce shipments towards the end of the seasons from the Salinas Valley and the Huron area of the San Joaquin Valley, light loadings of the product started late last week from the Yuma district of Arizona as the annual fall transition is underway.

Lettuce volume from the desert is very light and will be increasing right up to Thanksgiving  (November 23rd).

Doubling previous informal estimates, a new study says Arizona’s leafy greens industry delivers $2 billion in annual sales.  The study, by researchers at the University of Arizona’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, estimated a sales contribution of $2 billion for the Arizona leafy greens industry.

“We examined the whole value chain, including on-farm and post-harvest activities to understand the broad scope of the industry’s contribution to the Arizona economy,”Ashley Kerna Bickel, key researcher and contributor to the report, said in a news release.

Called “Arizona Leafy Greens: Economic Contributions of the Industry Cluster,”  the study examined 2015 agricultural cash receipts for on-farm production and post-harvest activities.

The release said the report was funded by the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee. Authors included Kerna Bickel, Dari Duval and George Frisvold.

For purposes of the study, the leafy greens industry was defined to include on-farm activities and also cooling, cutting, washing, packing, processing, storing and shipping.

In addition to the $2 billion sales figure, the study found:

  • Arizona is the No. 2 producer of lettuce (iceberg, leaf and romaine) nationally;
  • The state’s Yuma County ranks second among U.S. counties in harvested lettuce and spinach acreage;
  • From late November to mid-March, Arizona supplies 80 percent of the nation’s lettuce, with an average of 1 billion pounds of lettuce shipped per month;
  • Leafy greens have accounted for an average of 17 percent of the state’s total agricultural receipts each year since 2010;
  • Nearly 27,000 individuals were employed either directly or indirectly by the Arizona leafy greens industry in 2015, with 16.9 million hired labor hours needed for on-farm operations alone; and
  • The leafy greens industry’s total contribution to Arizona’s gross state product was nearly $1.2 billion in 2015.

While Yuma vegetable shipments are too few to count right now, Arizona melon shipments (cantaloupe and honeydew) are totalling over 250 loads per week.


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