Minnesota is just getting ready to start its carrot season.
“We’re planning to start harvesting in about a week and plan to ship our first carrots the first week in August,” says Matthew Wulf of Fresha based in Morris, MN. A newer company to the produce industry, this is Fresha’s third season shipping carrots.
Minnesota is coming into a time when domestic production hasn’t fully begun. “In some parts of Canada they’ve started a little bit but Michigan hasn’t started and Colorado only started a few weeks ago,” says Wulf. “Right now supplies are pretty much coming out of California and Mexico, though we’re hearing that with the hot temperatures they’ve had out West, there have been some quality concerns.”
Matthew Wulf of Fresha.
Freight impacting regional sourcing?
With Fresha largely focused on supporting the Midwest, Wulf says he is receiving calls already from customers looking for carrots. “While they may have the option to get carrots out of California or Mexico, there are some buyers, especially in the northern half of the U.S., waiting until carrots are available further north simply due to the freight factor,” he says. As growers across the country have noted, freight costs have increased significantly so far in 2021. “The freight environment is definitely having an effect on when and where people are going to buy carrots this fall,” Wulf adds.
In turn, currently retail demand for carrots is average. “It’s probably a little softer than last year at this time because the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box programs were going on last year and they were looking for retail packs,” says Wulf. “I think retail is going to stay pretty consistent this year. Foodservice demand has come back fairly strong so that would be much stronger than this time last year.”
As for pricing, it’s currently average on carrots. “I think it will be strong here for about a month but then when other regions come on board, the open market tends to get more competitive,” adds Wulf.